top of page

Sat, Oct 14

|

Fort Smith

Louder & Funnier: Alphonso Trent and His Orchestra Book-Signing and Children’s Program with author, Darneisha F. Airhart

In the children’s book, Louder & Funnier: Alphonso Trent and His Orchestra, author Darneisha Airhart introduces a new audience to the life and talents of Alphonso Trent and his orchestra. A book reading, children’s activity, and book signing will take place on Saturday, October 14 @ 11:00.

Registration is closed
See other events
Louder & Funnier: Alphonso Trent and His Orchestra Book-Signing and Children’s Program with author, Darneisha F. Airhart
Louder & Funnier: Alphonso Trent and His Orchestra Book-Signing and Children’s Program with author, Darneisha F. Airhart

Time & Location

Oct 14, 2023, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Fort Smith, 320 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72901, USA

Guests

About The Event

Louder & Funnier: Alphonso Trent and His Orchestra

Book-Signing and Children’s Program with author, Darneisha F. Airhart

Saturday, October 14 @ 11:00 am

Free

Fort Smith Museum of History

320 Rogers Avenue

479-783-7841

fortsmithmuseum.org

info@fortsmithmuseum.org

Alphonso Trent, a nationally renowned jazz pianist and “territory” bandleader, was born in Fort Smith on October 24, 1902 to Professor E. O. and Hattie Trent, prominent citizens of the city. A gifted pianist and natural leader, Trent organized the Alphonso Trent Orchestra, encouraging strong technique and performance ability, influencing many young African American musicians. Jimmie Lunceford, in an article in the 1947 Esquire Jazz Book states, "I'd say that Trent's band gave inspiration to more young musicians than any other." The Alphonso Trent Orchestra was a sophisticated dance band playing for fashionable audiences during the "Jazz Age," a time of prosperity in the United States.

The orchestra was known as a "territory band," common in the 1920's, and played a variety of regional engagements. The Alphonso Trent Orchestra was offered a two-week contract at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The engagement was so successful the contract was extended and the Alphonso Trent Orchestra played for a record eighteen months at the Adolphus, which included the first radio broadcast featuring an African-American band. In 1925, the WFAA nightly radio broadcasts reached audiences across the central United States and Canada.

In the children’s book, Louder & Funnier: Alphonso Trent and His Orchestra, author Darneisha Airhart introduces a new audience to the life and talents of Alphonso Trent and his orchestra. A book reading, children’s activity, and book signing will take place on Saturday, October 14 @ 11:00 at the Fort Smith Museum of History. Free to the public. Ice Cream will be available to attendees for $1.00 per cup.

Ms. Airhart's Chap Poetry book, Wild and Whirling Words, released in 2014, has received good success. Her favorite poem from the book is “Mr. Watermelon Man".  The short story Here Come the Cousins published in Writing Our Lives: A Southern Storytellers Anthology IV with Publisher Janice Kearney is also a favorite. At the age of 12, Darneisha's poem titled The Same Way was issued in Ebony Jr. Magazine. She shared her poetry in front of an audience for the first time in 1996 in New York City's famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Dar, has been commissioned to write a poem for the Little Rock John Cain Foundation, it is titled, "Ascension 55 (Ode to John Cain)".

A graduate of Fort Smith Northside High School and University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, Louder & Funnier: Alphonso Trent and His Orchestra is her first published children's book.

Share This Event

bottom of page