Monday, July 28, 2008

Tonight, in NY, a tribute to Junior Mance

A PJS Jazz Society
Tribute to JR Mance
with Antoinette Montague
Houston Person, Winard Harper, Tommy James, Bill Moring & Eric Johnson

Antoinette Montague will be swinging into Summer with a hot set of sessions presented by Jazzmobile — in Brooklyn; Mt. Vernon, NY; and Newark, NJ. She'll also be appearing in Yonkers in their Jazz and Blues at Dusk Series and at New York City's famous The Kitano.

Monday, July 28, 2008
Jazzmobile -
Summer Breeze Concert Series
6:00 pm
City Hall Plaza,
Mt. Vernon, NY
A PJS Tribute to JR Mance
Junior Mance

Junior began playing the piano at the age of five, but did not begin formal training until the age of eight. He started playing professionally during his early teens.

In 1947 Junior left Roosevelt College to join Gene Ammons' band and began his recording career with Gene. He joined Lester Young in 1949 for almost two years, and rejoined Ammons several months in 1951 before being drafted into the U. S. Army. After his discharge from the Army in 1953, Junior became part of the house rhythm section at the Bee Hive Jazz Club in Chicago for a year, and accompanied jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Sonny Stitt, and many others.

In 1954 Junior joined and toured with Dinah Washington. Among the numerous recordings he made with her, there are two that really stand out in his memory: Dinah Jams and Jam Session. They are two live albums featuring Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Clark Terry, Maynard Ferguson, Herb Geller, Harold Land, Keter Betts, George Morrow, Richie Powell and Junior.

In 1956 Junior reunited with Cannonball Adderley, becoming a member of Cannonball's first organized working band. The band did a series of recordings on Mercury Records.

Junior joined Dizzy Gillespie's band in 1958, a period Junior considers one of the highlights of his career.

In 1961 Junior decided to form his own trio, following the release of his first recording as a leader. (Junior, Verve Records)

In 1988 Junior became a member of the faculty at the The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. He teaches classes in Blues, Ballads, and also private lessons.

During the 1990's Junior has been part of a very elite group called "100 Gold Fingers". This is a group which tours Japan every other year, consisting of ten outstanding jazz pianists. On various tours the group has included people such as Hank Jones, John Lewis, Tommy Flanagan, Kenny Barron, Ray Bryant, Roger Kellaway, Gene Harris, Marion McPartland, Barry Harris, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lynn Arriale, Cyrus Chestnut, Benny Green, Duke Jordan, Joanne Brackeen, Monty Alexander, Dave McKenna, Renee Rosnes, Mulgrew Miller, Harold Mabern as well as Junior and a rhythm section consisting of bassist Bob Cranshaw and either Alan Dawson or Grady Tate on drums.

On November 21, 1997, at Tampa, Florida, Junior was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, an honor Junior is extremely proud of, being in the elite company of many of his heroes, both past and present.

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