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Alita Mantels

Why read about me when you could be learning more about jazz?

About Me

A retired educator and editor, I serve as Secretary for the Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation, which sponsors and maintains the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame. With Articles of Incorporation issued by the State of Arkansas on 7 January 1992, the Foundation is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to educating the general public about the historical significance of jazz in The Natural State. Detailed information about the Foundation and Hall of Fame can be found in the “AJHF: Reference Materials” album under “Photos” on the Facebook page titled “Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation.” (The archival website at contains materials for 1992-2014.) More information about me is provided in a brief author's bio on All About Jazz and my abridged professional profile on LinkedIn.

My Jazz Story

Published on: 2016-05-28

I love jazz because its family tree has deep roots and many branches. I was first exposed to jazz as a kid sneaking through back doors of riverfront clubs in my hometown of St. Louis circa 1960 (before "urban renewal"). I met Pharoah Sanders more than once at the long-gone but oft-remembered Delta Blue Note in downtown Little Rock. The best show I ever attended was a jam by musicians I didn't know in a Paris jazz club whose name I can't remember sometime in the 1980s. The first jazz record I bought was Dexter Gordon's Our Man in Paris (Blue Note). My advice to new listeners... Listen with your ears, your mind, your heart, and your soul. You're bound to hear something.

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