Drum Set, Songwriting, Music Theory(Jazz), Music Production
Born in Manhattan to musical Parents Iajhi has had music around him all of his life. Following in the footsteps of his father (Ivan Hampden) who has toured with Luther Vandross since 1987, He began playing drums at the age of ten in a North Carolina church behind his mother who served as the musical director for the church. Taking gigs in the area at 16, as soon as he was able to drive. Iajhi Enrolled at North Carolina Central University two years later in 1997, and under the direction of Dr. Ira Wiggins began the journey into jazz studies. While at N.C.C.U. as a part of the jazz studies program he was privileged to perform at the Montreaux and Vienne jazz festivals in Europe, the White House on two occasions, and also shared stages with Stanley Turntine, Slide Hampton, Frank Foster,Jimmy Heath,Terrell stafford, Nicholas Payton, and many others.
At North Carolina Central Iajhi developed a gigging relationship, and much musical growth with Grammy Nominee Eve Cornielous (vocalist) and Chip Crawford (piano). The two have collectively worked with many Jazz greats, including Barry Harris, Norman Conners, Roy Hargrove, Jovan Jackson,and many others. Through this group including Ameen Saleem (bass), Iajhi has worked with Fred Westley, Nnenna Freelon, and Kenny Garrett to Name a few. Upon graduation He began Performing around the east coast continuing his love for jazz, gospel, funk, hip hop, rock and all other types of music helping to develop his craft.
In 2005, Iajhi completed a Graduate Assistantship to Ronald Carter (sax) At Northern Illinois University as a Liberace scholar. Professor Carter has taught many of the current young “lions” in the music scene today including drummers Montez Coleman (Rufus reid), and Terrion Gully (Christian McBride), and has a working relationship with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center program as creative administrator. The Liberace scholar program involves working an a small group setting where all the material of the band is original from the group, and all are required to submit material. The members of this group also are required to take on varoius teaching postions at the school from directing big bands to teaching jazz history for the university. While at N.I.U iajhi was privleged to tour with the NIU jazz ensemble working along side guest artist such as Donald Harrison, Christian scott, Eddie Henderson, Dennis Mackrel and Red Holloway. The big band, and Liberace jazztet also traved to South America in 2004 to perform at the Lima Jazz festival in Lima Peru. Shrotly After Graduation Iajhi began touring the country with a tribute band working over 200 days a year, and has since relocated to the Los Angeles area.
Now living in Los Angeles, Iajhi has had the privlege to be involved in A various number of musical situatons. He has performed on Mtv’s TRL, Last Call with Carson Daily, Live with Regis and Kelly, and the View, and has worked with atrists such as Lina (hidden Beach), Andre Delano, Ashley Parker Angel, Andy Vargas, Norman Brown, Alex Bugnon, Chante’ Moore, Paul Taylor, Gordon Chambers, and Hollywood records artists, Aly & A.J. (Summer Tour 2007 & Hanna Montana, Best of both Worlds Tour January, 2008). Currently making appearances of such shows as American Idol and Jay Leno, Iajhi plans to continue in the Journey of life called music, work toward having a deeper knowlege of the music, and let the journey take him wherever it may.