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Junior Mance

Junior Mance, born Julian Clifford Mance, Jr., in Chicago, Illinois on October 10, 1928 is a jazz pianist, composer, and recording artist of thirty plus albums as a leader and numerous recordings as a sideman. 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. He attended Roosevelt College in Chicago as music major.

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. He served in the 36th Army Band at Fort Knox, Kentucky along with Julian "Cannonball" Adderley.

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. Besides the joy and fun of playing with Dizzy, he remembers this period as a great learning experience in musicianship, showmanship, and just about everything related to the business of music.

In 1961 Junior decided to form his own trio, following the release of his first recording as a leader. ("Junior", Verve) In between gigs with his trio he played and recorded with the Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis/Johnny Griffin Quintet. With his trio he also accompanied singer Joe Williams in l963/64

In 1988 Junior became a member of the faculty of the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program at the New School University in New York City. He teaches classes in Blues, Blues Ensembles, and private individual lessons and instruction on piano and helping students in the development of their career in playing jazz.

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Delmark Records



Fresh Sounds


Live at Café Loup

JunGlo Music


Sweet And Lovely

Fantasy Jazz


Music of Thelonious...

Chiaroscuro Records




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