Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 16:2 (Spring 1996). Copyright © 1996 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


This paper focuses on one of the most popular and influential of the territory band leaders, Alphonso Trent. From 1925 to the mid 1940s, his groups were acknowledged by listeners and by other musicians as among the very best of the jazz bands performing in the Southwest and Great Plains. In the cities and towns that they visited, their performances were always a special event, particularly in the African American communities. Trent's orchestras played an important role as musicians and entertainers of African Americans in the Great Plains States in the 1920s and 1930s.