The New School for
Jazz and Contemporary Music

Mance, Junior


Junior Mance

Jazz Pianist, composer, and author of How To Play Blues Piano, Junior Mance has recorded forty plus albums as a band leader as well as numerous recordings as a sideman. In 1947, Junior left Roosevelt College in Chicago where he was majoring in music to begin his recording career with Gene Ammons. He joined Lester Young in 1949 and played with him for almost two years, and then he rejoined Ammons for 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. In 1953, Junior became a part of the house rhythm section at the Bee Hive Jazz Club in Chicago, accompanied by jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and Sonny Stitt. Subsequently, Junior played and recorded with the likes of Dinah Washington, and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, and in 1958 he joined Dizzy Gillespie’s band, one of the highlights of his career. In 1961 Junior release his first recording as a band leader Junior on Verve Records. A seasoned performer, Junior has traveled to Japan and Switzerland, among other places in Europe, to play. He has toured numerous times with Lionel Hampton and His Gold Men of Jazz group and still tours with 100 Gold Fingers, a group consisting of ten outstanding jazz pianists which tours Japan every other year. In 1997, he was inducted to The International Jazz Hall of Fame in Tampa, Florida. Fans and friends can keep up with Junior’s performances by visiting his website at

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