Alita Mantels | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Alita Mantels 
Member since Jan 28, 2011

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Latest Review

Re: “The Royal Celts

Thanks to The Afterthought for a great Saturday evening (16 March 2013) of traditional Irish music (plus prizes to audience members who wrote the best limericks and correctly answered the most Irish trivia questions) provided by The Royal Celts, a group of highly experienced and distinguished musicians: Vali Talbot (vocals, guitar), Mike Adams (banjo), Roxy Osmon (viola), Quinn Martin (bass). Let's hope this becomes an annual event (as an adults-only alternative to our less authentic local celebrations of St. Paddy's Day).

Posted by Alita Mantels on 03/18/2013 at 4:07 AM

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Re: “Little Rock native to lead Oberlin College

Carmen and both her brothers distinguished themselves before and after graduating from Hall High. Several members of the Twillie family have dedicated themselves to public education in Arkansas.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alita Mantels on 07/07/2017 at 8:31 PM

Re: “Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Complete details about the 2016 Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (for early jazz greats Junie Cobb and Alex Hill, jazz icon Clark Terry, guitarist Ted Ludwig) and Jazz Celebration (featuring Thomas East on vocals and keys, Guido Ritchie on trumpet and flugelhorn, Matt Treadway on guitar, Joe Vick on upright bass, Brian Brown on drums) are provided within a shareable invitation posted under "More: Events" on the Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation's Facebook page (linked from each page on its archival website, as well as via event and venue links within the entry posted under "Calendar" at Admission to the adults-only event is $20 (cash/check at the door); ballroom doors open at 7:45 p.m. Induction ceremonies (which begin at 8:15 p.m.) are followed by two hours of live jazz; other accomplished jazz artists will sit in with the featured quintet. Questions should be directed to AJHF Secretary Alita Mantels (501.661.1604).

Posted by Alita Mantels on 06/16/2016 at 2:01 PM

Re: “Library Board chooses Nate Coulter as next director

Director Bobby Roberts (as well as Deputy Director Linda Bly, who preceded him into retirement) are both highly educated and eminently qualified administrators with degrees in library science. Neither can be replaced, and it is unfortunate that their four decades of vision, commitment, and hard work aren't appreciated by more Arkansans. Without both of them, the Central Arkansas Library System ( could never have expanded and improved to become such a shining example of how many ways public libraries can serve all members of a community. As a retired educator who has watched and applauded each stage of CALS' evolution since the 1970s, I encourage everyone to become more familiar with its online offerings as well as its many physical branches/facilities.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alita Mantels on 12/11/2015 at 1:12 AM

Re: “National Endowment for the Arts honors Pharoah Sanders

On 22 October 2015 the NEA posted (under "News" at complete details about its 2016 Jazz Masters awards and the free concert (to be live-streamed via,, and on Monday, 4 April 2016 at the Kennedy Center. That official announcement (with annotation and links) was posted to the Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation's Facebook page on 25 October 2015. FYI: Pharoah Sanders was born in Little Rock on 13 October 1940. Once described by Ornette Coleman as "probably the best tenor in the world," in 1994 Sanders was one of seven inaugural inductees into the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame (sponsored and maintained by the Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation). A brief profile (current at time of induction) appears under "Hall of Fame" on the AJHF's archival website ( A longer one can be found in the Central Arkansas Library System's Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture ( His official website (not recently updated) is - Alita Mantels, Secretary for Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation/Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alita Mantels on 10/25/2015 at 6:05 AM

Re: “Champagne days

The mention by Will Stephenson (as well as Brian Chilson's photo) of John Puckett (Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame) is appreciated though the article doesn't acknowledge his true stature as a legendary jazz pianist (already highly respected by both jazz aficionados and national celebrities at The Black Orchid Lounge and The Vapors during The Spa City's heyday). A brief profile (current at the time of his 2006 induction) is provided under "Hall of Fame" at - Alita Mantels (Secretary for Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation/Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame, Arkansas Editor for All About Jazz/Jazz Near You)

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Alita Mantels on 04/03/2015 at 9:28 PM

Re: “Blair collection goes to Native American museum

Though the renowned Crystal Bridges museum includes a small exhibit on loan from the nearby Museum of Native American History (, this remarkable private museum in Bentonville is one of Arkansas's secret gems. Since the museum is admission-free, ADA-accessible, and open to the public (Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.), students of all ages can appreciate and benefit from exposure to its fascinating and wide-ranging collection (spanning thousands of years on two continents), presented in a way which allows any individual to customize the experience in accordance with areas of interest as well as time constraints. (The more background one brings into the museum, the more time one is inclined to spend there. Two hours won't suffice for anyone who takes full advantage of the information on the individual audio wand as well as the educational videos onscreen in each section.) Personal observation: Each time I visit this museum, I am reminded of Dr. Who's Tardis. The museum's exterior gives little indication of the treasure-filled rooms within.

Posted by Alita Mantels on 03/19/2015 at 10:57 PM

Re: “R.I.P. Gerald Johnson

There will be a memorial concert ($5 minimum donation, proceeds to benefit the family) from 8 pm until midnight on Thursday, 14 August 2014 at The Rev Room (300 President Clinton Avenue in Little Rock's River Market district). All details are provided in the Facebook invitation titled "GERALD JOHNSON'S FAREWELL TRIBUTE CONCERT." The event (organized by Cliff "Drummerboy" Aaron) will include a PowerPoint presentation created by Roger Robinson (Quality Video Services) and conclude with a "second-line" parade.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alita Mantels on 08/10/2014 at 7:50 PM

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