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John Stubblefield Papers

Identifier: MC 1845

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, sheet music, books, papers, photographs, audio/visual materials, including LP records, VHS cassettes, and audiotape cassettes, as well as artifacts, including textiles and musical paraphernalia. These records document Stubblefield's personal life and interests as well as his career as a jazz musician. Many of the books and LP records contained in the collection have become part of the John Stubblefield book collection in the Special Collections Department's Arkansas Collection.


  • 1929-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1923-2006


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Original documents containing personal identifying information, including birth and death certificates, are restricted.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Born on February 4, 1945 in Little Rock, Arkansas, John Stubblefield was a prolific jazz musician and composer who performed with a wide array of musicians, including Pharaoh Sanders, Kenny Barron, Charles Mingus, Mary Lou Williams, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Jerry Gonzales, and Billy Hart. Primarily a saxophonist, Stubblefield performed with a number of instruments throughout his career.

Stubblefield began his musical career in Arkansas, recording with York Wilburn and the Thrillers and performing and touring with The New Directions while a student at what is now the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Upon graduating in 1967, Stubblefield first moved to Chicago, where he joined the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. This association allowed him to perform with Muhal Richard Abrams and Joseph Jarman, and helped develop an interest in African-American politics and issues that would remain for the rest of his life.

In 1970, Stubblefield relocated to New York, performing with a succession of jazz musicians, including Mary Lou Williams and Charles Mingus. In addition to his performances with other groups, Stubblefield also began to record and release albums of his own. While in New York Stubblefield also served as a musical instructor, most notably with the Jazzmobile program and at Rutgers University. In 1993 Stubblefield's past association with Charles Mingus led to him to become one of the leading members of the Mingus Big Band, a tribute group that had been formed by Mingus' wife, Sue. Stubblefield also occasionally toured with the World Saxophone Quartet from the 1980s onward. In recognition of his contributions to jazz, he was named to the Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998. John Stubblefield died in New York on July 4, 2005.


81 Linear Feet (105 Boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

Material is arranged and described in four series:

  1. Series I. Personal Materials
  2. Series II. Professional Materials
  3. Series III. Audio/Visual Materials
  4. Series IV. Artifacts

Acquisition Information

The John Stubblefield Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department by his sister Joyce Pattillo of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas on November 1, 2012.

Separated Materials

Books and LP (long play) format records have been transferred to the Arkansas Collection as part of the John Stubblefield collection.

Boxes 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14 of Series 1, containing financial and medical information, were removed from the collection on January 28, 2022 and returned to the donor, Joyce Patillo, at her request.

Processing Information

Processed by Adam Heien, Chris Galindo, and Rebekah Mason; completed in February 2019

Box 76 processed by Adam Heien in October 2022.



John Stubblefield Papers
Adam Heien, Chris Galindo, and Rebekah Mason
February 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2022-10-18: Finding aid updated by Adam Heien to include newly processed Box 76, which contained materials that were found as part of renovation preparation in Room 123.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444