FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (10/20/12)
Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Artistic Director
Alphonso Trent Memorial Fort Smith Jazz Jam
National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP)
National Juneteenth Observnce Foundation (NJOF)
web sites: www.JazzArkansas.com
4th Annual Alphonso Trent Memorial Fort Smith Jazz Jam
Fort Smith Jazz Legand Alphonso Tent Honored on His Birthday
(Fort Smith, AR) - Fort Smith's rich jazz heritage and legacy will be celebrated during the 4th Annual
Alphonso Trent Memorial Fort Smith Jazz Jam, hosted by the
National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP) and the
American Pain Institute (API), on Wednesday,
October 24, 2012. A lecture by University of Arkansas Fort Smith asst. professor of history, Steven Kike, concert
and jam session are scheduled beginning at 12:00noon, at Fort Smith Museum of History, 320 Rogers Avenue, in Fort
October 24th is the birthday of the late Fort Smith jazz legend, Alphonso
Trent. He was born Alphonse "Alphonso" Trent on August 24, 1905 and died October 14, 1959. Trent was a legendary American jazz
pianist and territory band leader.
Trent played piano since childhood and worked in local bands in Arkansas through his youth. He led his first band in the
mid-1920s, possibly as early as 1923. In 1924 he played with Eugene Cook's Synco Six, and then took over leadership of the
band, which played until 1934, playing mostly in the American South and Midwest, as well as on steamboats.
"Alphonso Trent is
the greatest Fort Smith
territory jazz band leader and music icon in history," states Rev.
Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National
Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, NAJJP and the
API. "Honoring jazz legacy muscians like
Alphonso Trent is why the
Alphonso Trent Memorial Fort Smith Jazz Jam will be taking place every year."
In June, the NAJJP are sponsors of "June is Juneteenth African Amercan Jazz
an African-American jazz legacy preservation initiative during
Black Music Month. Juneteenth is officially recognized as a state holiday observance in Arkansas,
joining a total of
41 states and the District of Columbia in the recognition of America's 2nd Independence Day.
Juneteenth commemorates the day when slaves in the last geographic area in America where slavery existed learned of
their freedom. This took place on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger read
General Order #3, announcing that "all slaves are
free" by Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. The
Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and issued on January 1,
1863. It took over two and a half years for the news to travel to southwest Texas. The
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign continues to work to establish
Juneteenth as a national holiday observance in America.
The festival's featured artist will be area physician, accomplished jazz pianist and trumpet player,
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. A modern day renaissance man, Dr. Myers
is a minister, physician and jazz musician, and the National
Juneteenth Jazz Artist. Myers will be joined by vocalist Lanita Chastain and guitarist Ron Chastain.
Information about the festival can be found at www.JazzArkansas.com
or www.JuneteenthJazz.com. Also contact Dr. Myers
at 662-392-2016 or e-mail Juneteenthdoc@yahoo.com.
Admission is free to all events. Any donations to the
American Pain Institute will be greatly appreciated.