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“Mingus’s holiday eggnog was a concoction so delicious and mind-blowing,
you would do anything to make sure that you saw him at Christmas.
Over the phone once, he gave me the recipe.”
– Janet Coleman

With holidays coming up, we decided to share Charles Mingus’s rapturous, if potentially deadly, recipe for Christmas eggnog.  In the interest of simplicity, we offer a slightly more sober rendition than the one provided by Janet Coleman in her book. (If you want the whole run-down, word for word, you can get the original by ordering  ”Mingus/Mingus: Two Memoirs” by Janet Coleman & Al Young, on Amazon.)

There’s plenty of room for improvising!
Happy holidays
– Sue Mingus

1 egg per person
2 sugar cubes per egg
one shot of 151 proof Jamaican rum per person
one shot of brandy (or Bourbon) per person
some milk (amount not specified)
cream (amount not specified)
vanilla ice cream
fresh nutmeg – lots

mix milk & egg yolks in bowl
add rum very very gradually or it will burn eggs
add brandy
add whipped egg whites
add whipped cream
add fresh grated nutmeg
Add ice cream to keep eggnog cold!

On second thought, after looking at the dull facts above, am including the original below!
(Janet Coleman just wrote:  ”Ha ha — nothing like the ambiguity of the real thing!  I don’t think he wanted anyone else to make as good an eggnog as his!”)


* Separate one egg for one person.  Each person gets an egg.
* Two sugars for each egg, each person.
* One shot of rum, one shot of brandy per person.
* Put all the yolks into one big pan, with some milk.
* That’s where the 151 proof rum goes.  Put it in gradually or it’ll burn the eggs,
* OK. The whites are separate and the cream is separate.
* In another pot– depending on how many people– put in one shot of each, rum and brandy. (This is after you whip your whites and your cream.)
* Pour it over the top of the milk and yolks.
* One teaspoon of sugar.  Brandy and rum.
* Actually you mix it all together.
* Yes, a lot of nutmeg.  Fresh nutmeg.  And stir it up.
* You don’t need ice cream unless you’ve got people coming and you need to keep it cold.  Vanilla ice cream.  You can use eggnog.  I use vanilla ice cream.
* Right, taste for flavor.  Bourbon? I use Jamaica Rum in there. Jamaican Rums. Or I’ll put rye in it.  Scotch. It depends.
See, it depends on how drunk I get while I’m tasting it.

–Charles Mingus

Mingus featured in Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Hear Mingus’s composition “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting” in Martin Scorsese’s latest film “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  This movie follows the true story of Jordan Belfort from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.


Other recent placement of Mingus’s music include:

  • AD:  Nate Berkus for Target — Better Git Hit In Your Soul
  • FILM:  People Like Us (Dreamworks) — Boogie Stop Shuffle
  • FILM:  Regeneration (Green Light) — Haitian Fight Song
  • TV:  Cold Case (Warner Brothers) — Haitian Fight Song
  • TV:  The Good Wife (ABC) — Hora Decubitus sample



Mingus’ Magnum Opus: ‘Epitaph’ In Concert

Listen to the Hour-Long Radio Special here on NPR Music

From NPR:

July 24, 2008 – As creative chair for jazz at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, bass player Christian McBride gets to program four concerts a year. The moment he got the job, he put Charles Mingus’ monumental, 2 1/2-hour jazz symphony “Epitaph” at the top of his list.

“When you hear Mingus’ music, that’s about as advanced as you can get,” McBride says. “But it’s always rooted — it’s always coming out of that real indigenous black tradition. I’m talking about, like, work songs and gospel, you know, all the way up through Ellington, all the way up through the strife of the ’60s. All of that is in his music.”

Jazz historian and composer Gunther Schuller conducted the entire concert in front of a 31-piece jazz orchestra. He says that Charles Mingus was a man of many moods — and that he sees them in the very fabric of Mingus’ masterpiece.

“I knew him quite well,” Schuller says. “He could be as gentle as a baby, and he could also be so full of tantrums and explosive and angry, and all of this range of feelings is in this piece. It’s all there: It’s like a musical picture of Mingus’ personality — from the most beautiful gentle ballads, lyric pieces, to these extremely chaotic, disorganized, wild pieces.”

By the time “Epitaph” premiered in 1962, Mingus was already well-known as a composer, bandleader, and virtuoso bass player, a musician who had worked with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, and Duke Ellington, among others. But how Mingus came to write the piece remains something of a mystery.

Gunther Schuller says Mingus probably composed most of the piece over a three-year period in the late ’50s. He scored it for a 31-piece double jazz orchestra, and got an all-star group to play it. But the first performance was a travesty.

“There’s this famous, legendary disastrous concert and recording session in Town Hall [in New York], where I happened to be present,” Schuller says. “And it was one of the most chaotic and frustrating and disastrous concerts that anybody has ever heard, because the music was so difficult and so strange. He hadn’t had a chance to rehearse it properly and the copyists were, indeed, even still copying some of the music –- it wasn’t even fully ready. And so the musicians couldn’t handle it, and so eventually the concert was aborted when the union stage crew said, ‘Wait a minute, it’s midnight, we’ve gotta stop this.'”

Distraught, Mingus never visited the score again in his lifetime. But 10 years after his death in 1979, the score — four feet high and 4,235 measures long — was discovered in a closet in his apartment. Composer and arranger Andrew Homzy reconstructed it, and Schuller conducted the premiere in 1989. According to Schuller, the work was titled “Epitaph,” because a few movements in the score had that word in block letters.

Astonishingly, when the enormous score for “Epitaph” was found, it was missing one thing -– a finale. So Schuller says that he and the band improvised one, using Mingus as a guide.

“I decided, in putting this piece together, that we should do what he did so many times in his own appearances at clubs with his groups –- that is to say, he dictated an ending,” he says. “And he would cue everybody: What they should do and when they play and be hollering and playing on his bass at the same time. And so we did something like that for the entire orchestra.”

Discoveries at Walt Disney Concert Hall is an eclectic mix of concert specials, recorded live at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and hosted by Renee Montagne. From singer-songwriters to classical, world music, and Broadway stars, it’s a celebration of the diversity of our thriving musical culture.


2010 News Summary

NPR to rebroadcast Mingus Big Band from the Jazz Standard.
Thu, Dec. 23 2010
NPR is rebroadcasting the Mingus Big Band from the Jazz Standard – the Grammy-nominated music – as the first JazzSet of 2011. JazzSet airs on more than 100 stations nationwide and in Europe as well.  Listeners should check with their stations for date and time of the broadcast(s).On WBGO and, JazzSet featuring the MBB airs on Sun, Jan 2, at 6pm and on Wed, Jan 5, at 6:30pm.Michael Bourne is the MC and the Grammy-nominated host is Dee Dee Bridgewater.The CD and mp3 downloads of the album go here:
Happy Holidays!
Thu, Dec. 23 2010
Mingus NEA concerts at MacPhail Center for Music
Wed, Nov. 24 2010
“Three NEA grants (American Masterpieces) for chamber music in 2010-2011 support projects devoted to the works of Charles Mingus, including the four-concert series at the MacPhail Center for Music. Presented as part of its annual Jazz Thursdays program, “Meditations and Revelations” is the brainchild of bassist/MacPhail jazz coordinator Adam Linz, a longtime devotee of the “one-man avant garde,” to quote John McDonough in his article about the MacPhail grant in this month’s issue of Chamber Music magazine. In explaining the rationale for presenting the music of Mingus live, Linz told McDonough, “It’s the ability to find spontaneity in music that’s fifty years old [and to] take it somewhere it hasn’t been. That’s the spirit of Mingus… You have a band that rehearses without charts and adds to the performance…we want to keep that spirit that it may all fall apart….”article and photos by Andrea Canter
WSJ: “Mingus” at Anthology series.
Thu, Nov. 4 2010
Pedro Costa SelectsAnthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave., (212) 505-5181
Through Nov. 16View Full Image
Pedro CostaJeanne Balibar in Pedro Costa’s ‘Ne change rien.’
MOVIE2A rock star to cinematic aesthetes, Pedro Costa is more punk than Dutch provocateur Lars von Trier. With seemingly no more than a digital camera, some natural light and a subject (for instance, the Lisbon slum and its loquacious denizens in his celebrated Fontainhas Trilogy) the Portuguese filmmaker achieves something fascinating, hypnotic and mysterious—and, in its fearless chiaroscuro, an austere yet rapturous beauty. For two weeks, Mr. Costa will present his most recent film, “Ne change rein,” a performance documentary starring French actress and singer Jeanne Balibar, alongside some of his favorite movies. He’s included some elusive choices, such as Jean Eustache’s obscured documentary debut “Numero Zero,” Jean-Luc Godard’s comic “Keep Your Right Up,” Thomas Reichman’s raw and bitter “Mingus: Charlie Mingus 1968.” Mr. Costa will discuss his films Friday evening, and will introduce various screenings throughout the series.
Jazz Times: Junko Onishi plays Mingus; “Meditations for a Pair of Wire Cutters”
Thu, Nov. 4 2010
You can listen to a clip on Amazon:
Appalachian’s Jazz Ensemble II performs Nov. 9
Thu, Nov. 4 2010
Appalachian’s Jazz Ensemble II performs Nov. 9BOONE—Charles Mingus, Mark Taylor and Chris Culver are among the jazz composers whose work will be performed Nov. 9 by Appalachian State University’s Jazz Ensemble II.The program begins at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.Rod Berry, an instructor in the Hayes School of Music, directs the ensemble in performances of Lennie Niehaus’ “Absolutely Awesome,” Chris Culver’s “Mongo Mood,” Mark Taylor’s “Bebop ‘N’ Georgia” and “Not Yet Over the Hill,” Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and Mike Carubia’s “Buffalo Wings.”
Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard is up for a Grammy nomination!
Thu, Oct. 21 2010
Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard is up for a Grammy nomination at http://www.grammy365.comIf you are a voting member, please consider:
Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard
Solo: Kenny Rampton on “Cryin’ Blues”Arrangement: Sy Johnson for “New Now Know How”You’ll find them under Jazz of course.If you haven’t heard it yet: can also download a free mp3 of “Cryin’ Blues” featuring Kenny Rampton on trumpet.

“Every tune a classic, every player a master,
every tune sounding new, every player keeping the spirit
of Charles Mingus alive and swinging!” -Michael
Bourne, WBGO

“Crisp and crackling with life….the Mingus songbook
with fresh arrangements and top-notch musicianship.”
All About Jazz-New York

Mingus Awareness Project: Return to Richmond, VA
Wed, Oct. 20 2010
Mingus Awareness Project features Adam Larrabee Plays Money Jungle and Mingus Awareness Project Big Band directed by Doug Richards and will take place on Sunday, October 24, 2010, 7pm, at Richmond CenterStage’s Rhythm Hall.Another article.
Anniversary of Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus
Wed, Oct. 20 2010
Charles Mingus Presents Charles MingusRecorded October 19, 1960 at Nola Penthouse Sound Studios, New York City
Jazz Times: Review of Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard
Wed, Oct. 6 2010
Lucid Culture review of Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard
Wed, Oct. 6 2010
Buddy Collette’s Los Angeles: LA Times.
Thu, Sep. 23 2010
“In 1999, the late jazzman reflected on his early musical career, Central Avenue, Charles Mingus and the fusion of the segregated musicians’ unions.”RIP, Buddy Collette.
Charles Mingus Revenge! Now available digitally
Thu, Sep. 9 2010
Revenge! The Legendary Paris Concert Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, bass clarinet and flute),
Johnny Coles (trumpet on So Long Eric), Clifford Jordan
(tenor saxophone), Jaki Byard (piano), and Dannie Richmond
(drums), Charles Mingus (bass) 

• Peggy’s Blue Skylight (12:53)
• Orange Was the
Color of her Dress, Then Blue Silk (11:38)
• Meditations
on Integration (22:39)
• Fables of Faubus (24:53)

• So Long Eric (28:50)

• Parkeriana (24:13)


Available on iTunes,
and Amazon.
Digital distribution by The Orchard.

more info: Review: 50 great moments in jazz: Charles Mingus’s The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
Tue, Sep. 7 2010
50 great moments in jazz: Charles Mingus’s The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady: It’s almost impossible to choose just one great moment from the legacy of this pioneering bassist and compositional genius….
Pop Matters reviews Live at Jazz Standard
Fri, Aug. 6 2010
Sue Mingus and the Mingus Big Band: Letting Our Children Hear Music
By Sean Murphy
Mingus bands in residency at Flynn Center
Mon, Jul. 19 2010
Four-day residency with three bands. Highlight: Oct. 16, 2010, the Mingus Repertory Ensembles — the Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty and Mingus Orchestra — perform the music of jazz legend Charles Mingus, with choreography by Danny Buraczeski.
Mon, Jul. 19 2010
WASHINGTON SQUARE MUSIC FESTIVAL ENDS 50th PARK SEASON WITH THE CHARLES MINGUS ORCHESTRA, A FREE JAZZ CONCERTOn Tuesday, July 27 at 8 pm in Washington Square,the Charles Mingus Orchestra closes the Washington Square Music Festival’s 52nd season by performing works by the late Charles Mingus. The concert is free and celebrates a great American composer, who left his legacy in the worlds of both jazz and the civil rights struggle.Seating is on a first-come, first served basis in front of the Holley Statue, in the northwest quadrant of the Square. The Festival is under the auspices of the Washington Square Association, Inc. Rainspace is St. Joseph’s Church, 371 Sixth Avenue.
Festival info: 212-252-3621
New CD reviewed on Straight No Chaser
Tue, Jun. 29 2010
CD reviewed in July issue of All About Jazz-New York
Tue, Jun. 29 2010
“Crisp and crackling with life….the Mingus songbook with fresh arrangements and top-notch musicianship.” CD reviewed in July issue of All About Jazz-New York.
Fight ALS (tonight at Jazz Showcase in Chicago) by remembering Charles Mingus
Wed, Jun. 23 2010
Jazz Journalists Assn honors Sue Mingus
Wed, Jun. 16 2010
JJA 2010 Jazz Awards Sy Johnson introduces Sue Mingus at :59.
New CD Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard
Thu, Jun. 10 2010
Available digitally at iTunes and physical CDs at CD Baby
Living Legends, Onstage and in Memoriam-Wall Street Journal
Thu, Jun. 10 2010
Mingus Big Band/Mingus Mondays
Jazz Standard 
116 E. 27th St., (212) 576-2232 
Also being honored at the JJA Awards is Sue Mingus, the widow of the late bassist-composer, who has seen to it that her husband’s music is more widely performed now than it was during the jazz iconoclast’s lifetime. (Even the Django Reinhardt-inspired Hot Club of Detroit is playing “Nostalgia in Times Square” on their new album, “It’s About That Time.”) “Mingus Monday” has become a tradition at Jazz Standard…. The 14-piece big band, which features saxophonists Scott Robinson and Wayne Escoffery, is also represented by its 10th album, “Live at Jazz Standard,” and demonstrates that, alongside Ellington and Monk, there’s no composer more worthy than Mingus of being a one-man franchise.
Mingus Big Band Finalist for Large Ensemble of the Year-Jazz Journalists Awards
Wed, May. 26 2010
Gala on June 14, 2010.
Mingus band regular Scott Robinson feautred in WSJ
Wed, May. 26 2010
Mailing List changes from weekly to monthly
Mon, Apr. 5 2010

We hope our mailing list subscribers will welcome our shift
from weekly to monthly emails. Many of you now get updates from
and Twitter
(if not, please click on those links and join us!) so we’ll
use this mailing list to send a monthly announcement of Mingus
news, events, and perhaps an occasional extra special announcement!
And of course our
 will remain your primary source for all things Mingus:
weekly Mingus band lineups and tour dates, educational events,
and links to Mingus music in all its manifestations throughout
the world.


  • April 22: Mingus’s 88th Birthday. Round-the-clock Mingus
    on KCR and other special events.
  • Mingus Mondays continue at Jazz
    , with Mingus
    Big Band, Mingus Orchestra, and Mingus Dynasty in weekly
    rotation. Student discount 2nd set.


Mingus Big Band – musician for musician
– is one of the most spirited

and technically gifted bands in the country.”


weekly Monday
 show at the Jazz Standard is
New York’s most transcendent weekly residency.
It’s probably the best in the entire world.”



April 5, 2010

Mondays at Jazz


AT 7:30 & 9:30


– Greg Gisbert

– Kenny Rampton

– Tatum Greenblatt


– Seamus Blake

– Mark Gross

– Craig Handy

– Greg Tardy (tenor)

– Ronnie Cuber


– Ku-umba Frank Lacy

– Andy Hunter

– Dave Taylor


– Donald Edwards


– Boris Kozlov


– David Kikoski

open an hour prior.
 features tasty Blue Smoke BBQ. There is
never a minimum.

116 East 27th between Park and Lex in NYC 212-576-2232.





April 12, 2010

Mingus Mondays at Jazz


SETS AT 7:30 & 9:30

Alto saxophone: Craig

Tenor Saxophone: Seamus

Trumpet: Tatum Greenblatt

Trombone: Andy Hunter

Bass: Boris Kozlov

Piano: David Kikoski

Drums: Donald Edwards


CD Release / Concert


Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard


April 19, 2010


CD Release Concert @ 7:30PM featuring works from Mingus
Big Band Live at Jazz Standard CD

including the rarely performed “New Now Know How” and
the seminal favorite “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.” Line-up
includes Wayne Escoffery
& Abraham Burton
(tenor saxophone), Scott
Robinson & Doug
Yates (alto saxophone, flute), Lauren
Sevian (baritone saxophone), Conrad
Herwig, Ku-umba
Frank Lacy & Earl
McIntyre (trombones), Avishai
Cohen, Kenny
Rampton & Earl
Gardner (trumpets), Orrin
Evans (piano), Boris
Kozlov (bass), and Donald
Edwards (drums). Second set at 9:30PM.

tune a classic, every player a master, every tune sounding
new, every player keeping the spirit of Charles Mingus
alive and swinging!”

Michael Bourne, WBGO





Monday, April 26, 2010

Mingus Mondays at Jazz


SETS AT 7:30 & 9:30

Alto/Flute/Soprano: Vincent

Tenor/Soprano/Flute: Scott

Trombone: Ku-umba Frank

Trumpet: Kenny Rampton

Drums: Donald Edwards

Bass: Hans Glawischnig

Bassoon: Janet Grice

French Horn: John Clark

Guitar: Jack Wilkins

Bass Clarinet: Doug Yates





Mingus paintings by BRUNI Sablan
Wed, Mar. 24 2010
Mingus Mondays featured on PBS SundayArts News
Tue, Feb. 23 2010
Mingus Mondays is 4:56-5:20
Student recites “Mingus at the Showplace” by William Matthews in Thousand Oaks competition
Thu, Feb. 11 2010
Yale Jazz Ensemble Concert To Feature Music Of Charles Mingus Feb 10
Wed, Feb. 10 2010
Yale Jazz Ensemble Concert To Feature Music Of Thad Jones, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington
On CampusThe Yale Jazz Ensemble, directed by Thomas C. Duffy, will present its winter concert on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m., in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Memorial Hall. The program will feature charts by Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Phil Woods, Lester Young, Slide Hampton, and more. Admission is free and no tickets are required.The Yale Jazz Ensemble is an 18 piece big band that performs a wide variety of music, from Yale’s Benny Goodman archive to the newest and most progressive jazz compositions. The ensemble has performed extensively in the U.S. and internationally at such noted venues as New York’s Village Vanguard and Iridium Jazz Clubs and London’s Ronnie Scott’s.Call 203-432-4113 for more information.
February 9, 2010 National Jazz Museum in Harlem: Jazz on Film: Charles Mingus/Billie Holiday
Sat, Jan. 30 2010
February 9, 2010 Jazz for Curious ListenersJazz on Film: Charles Mingus/Billie Holiday
7:00 – 8:30pmLocation: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300Hearing is one thing – seeing is another. What better to spend an evening that watching these two iconic figures in all of their originality and genius?
Mingus workshop in Buffalo tonight!
Mon, Feb. 8 2010
WWMD? A gaggle of devotees of Charles Mingus, the legendary jazz bassist-composer-rights activist, will brainstorm and barnstorm in the Jazz Composers Workshop, which gets under way at about 7:30 p.m. in Central Park Grill, 2519 Main St. On hand will be Nelson Starr, John Werick, Michael McNeill, John Anderson, Joe Hochulski, Kelly Bucheger and Tim Clarke.
Mingus Big Band’s Conrad Herwig on WKCR 89.9FM NY and online.
Wed, Jan. 27 2010
6-9pm Wednesday, January 27th on WKCR 89.9FM NY.
“The Musician’s Show.”Conrad Herwig will guest host Mingus Big Band’s Conrad Herwig LIVE on-air on WKCR Radio next Wednesday 6-9PM. He’ll play his own music, recordings he has played on with the Mingus bands (such as the soon-to-be-released 2009 New Year’s Eve concert at Jazz Standard, broadcast on NPR), and other music that has inspired him.

Nu-Art Series features music of Charles Mingus
Wed, Jan. 27 2010
Saturday, February 6:Darrell Mixon Quartet/Charles Mingus
“Haitian Fight Song” / Haitian Relief
Wed, Jan. 20 2010
Links to a few places that need your donations:
Mercy Corps
Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti
Red Cross
Artists for Peace and Justice
Doctors without Borders
Catholic Relief Services
Clinton Bush Haiti FundLonger, descriptive list on Huffington Post
Marching for Peace, 1967
Mon, Jan. 18 2010
Hart Hooton memory of marching with King and Mingus

2010 Charles Mingus High School Competition Summary


Mingus HS Finalist News: Ken East Honors Jazz Band Heading to Big Apple for Prominent Performance
Thu, Jan. 14 2010
Mingus Competition Finalists Announced
Tue, Jan. 5 2010
The finalists (in alphabetical order) are:BIG BAND CATEGORY-Regular
Boston Latin Big Band. Boston Latin School, Boston, MA. Band Director: Paul J. Pitts
Kenmore East High School Jazz Band, Tonawanda, NY. Band Director: Phil Aguglia
Rivers Big Band, The Rivers School, Weston, MA. Band Director: Philippe CrettienBIG BAND CATEGORY-Specialized
Academy Big Band, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, CT.
Band Director: Douglas Maher
Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra, Rochester, NY. Band Director: Howard Potter
Manhattan School of Music Precollege Big Band, New York, NY. Band Director: Jeremy ManasiaCOMBO CATEGORY-Regular
Foxborough High School Jazz Quintet, Foxborough, MA. Director: Stephen C. Massey
Rio Americano Combo, Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, CA.
Band Director: Max Kiesner
Rivers Select 1 Combo, The Rivers School, Weston, MA. Band Director: Philippe CrettienCOMBO CATEGORY-Specialized
Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra, Rochester, NY. Band Director: Howard Potter
Manasia Improv Ensemble, Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY.
Band Director: Jeremy Manasia
York College Blue Notes, New York, NY. Band Director: Tom Zlabinger

Please call 212-736-4749 for more information.

Mingus High School Competition & Festival Held in New York City February 12-15, 2010 with Mingus Gospel Concert at St. Bart’s
Tue, Dec. 15 2009
*Nationwide Charles Mingus High School Competition*Four-Day Festival Held in New York City February 12-15, 2010*Mingus Gospel Concert at St. Bart’sFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 2, 2009 – New York, NY
Let My Children Hear Music/The Charles Mingus Institute, a New York City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to expanding and promoting the legacy of Charles Mingus, announces exciting lineup for Charles Mingus High School Competition and weekend festival.This year’s Competition was expanded to include high school students nationwide and extend their New York experience beyond the Manhattan School of Music, where the Competition and clinics will be held. More activities were added for New York residents to make this a true festival celebrating Mingus music.

A full day of clinics and workshops will take place at the Manhattan School of Music on Saturday. There will be master classes for instruments and sections plus lectures and clinics in connection with Mingus music exploring themes such as “Thematic Development in Improvisation” and “Deconstructing Melody,” “The
Blues at the Heart of Mingus, a special Band Director’s Workshop directed by Justin DiCioccio, and a student jam with Mingus musicians. Prominent educators and musicians who are deeply familiar with Mingus music will oversee these events.

On Saturday night there will be an extraordinary public concert of Mingus gospel music at the landmark St. Bartholomew’s (St. Bart’s) Church on Park Avenue and 50th Street. This unique event will not only return Mingus music to its blues & gospel church roots, but will feature the sort of  instrumentation—harp, bassoon, French horn, bass clarinet (along with the more familiar trumpet, trombone and saxophones)—that illustrates Mingus’s long-time mission to open up the instrumental possibilities so children can be inspired to play in symphony orchestras as well as jazz bands. The concert will include such rousing numbers as “Better Get Hit In Your Soul,”  “Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting,” “Ecclusiastics,” “Consider Me, Oh Lord” (from a Langston Hughes collaboration), and much more. There will also be a reception for high school participants prior to the concert and opening remarks by Gunther Schuller.

On Sunday the daylong Mingus High School Competition will feature the battle between the top 12 big bands and combos from around the country and a concert by the MSM Mingus Combo. Monday the Mingus Big Band performs at Jazz Standard as part of its regular weekly residency.

All participants, whether finalists or not, are invited to attend all weekend events. The Competition provides an exceptional musical experience for its participants and an important addition to the many cultural attractions in New York City.  It has already become a much-anticipated part of the national and local cultural landscape, celebrating New York as the arts capital of the world and Charles Mingus as one of our most significant artists.

Please call 212-736-4749 for more information.

Friday, Feb 12: TBA
Saturday, Feb 13: Full day of clinics, master classes, and jams at Manhattan
School of Music. Evening Mingus concert at St. Bartholomew’s (St. Bart’s) Church
bringing Mingus music back to its gospel & blues roots and featuring special
Sunday, Feb 14: Mingus High School Competition at Manhattan School of Music.
Concert by MSM Mingus Combo
Monday, Feb 15: Mingus Big Band at Jazz Standard



Mingus High School Competition: Foxboro trumpet player at the Grammys
Wed, Jan. 27 2010
“Matt Muirhead, Foxboro High School Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band and other groups, leaves for California Saturday to play with an elite student jazz band as part of the 52nd annual Grammy awards celebration.And from Feb. 12-15, Muirhead will be with a Foxboro High jazz quintet competing in the annual Charles Mingus Jazz Competition in New York City.The 17-year-old, who began playing trumpet in fifth grade, enjoys all types of music but is heavily focused on jazz.”Jazz provides a level of intimacy, democracy and interaction that you don’t necessarily feel in other genres,” said Muirhead.Next month Muirhead and fellow FHS students Brendan Thomas, Ian Ayers, Christian Lyman and Connor Schultze will be traveling to New York City for the Feb. 12-15 Mingus competition at the Manhattan School of Music.The student-directed band will be competing against finalists from The Rivers School in Weston and Rio Americano High School in Sacramento, Cal., playing the music of the legendary jazz pianist, bandleader and composer.

School music director Steve Massey said he’s especially proud of Muirhead and the other students’ accomplishment in entering and attaining a finalist position at the second annual Mingus competition. Students took the lead in suggesting a Foxboro entry and rehearsed on their own, beginning last summer, using their own arrangements.



Mingus High School Competition subway ad
Wed, Jan. 27 2010


Mingus High School Competition press from schools-Eastman
Wed, Feb. 10 2010
NY Daily News: Composer Charles Mingus’ music will be played at free 2-day festival
Mon, Feb. 8 2010
Mingus High School Competition-Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes: Reminders of the Future of Jazz
Tue, Feb. 23 2010


Mingus High School Competition: Kenmore on TV news
Thu, Feb. 11 2010
TV news: Kenmore East High School competing in the Charles Mingus High School Competition
Mingus HS Competition: “Foxboro HS has all that jazz”
Wed, Feb. 24 2010


Mingus High School Competition: Rio Americano
Fri, Feb. 12 2010
Mingus High School Competition Winners Announced
Wed, Feb. 17 2010
Adjudicators:  Justin DiCioccio, Conrad Herwig and Boris KozlovBEST BIG BAND – REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL
The Rivers Big Band, Philippe Crettien, Band Director
The Rivers School; Weston, MassachusettsBEST BIG BAND – SPECIALIZED SCHOOL
Academy Big Band, Douglas Maher, Band Director
Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts; Hartford, ConnecticutMINGUS SPIRIT AWARD
The Mingus Spirit Award was given to the Rio Americano Combo from the Rio Americano High School
in Sacramento, California.  Maxwell Kiesner, Band Director.  Zach Giberson, alto saxophone; Zach Darf, tenor saxophone; Victor San Pedro, guitar; David Williams, piano;  Nathan Swedlow, bass; Jarrett Tracy, drumsCOMBO CATEGORY
Adjudicators: Gunther Schuller, Vincent Herring and Andrew HomzyBEST COMBO – REGULAR HIGH SCHOOL
The Foxborough High School Jazz Quintet, Stephen C. Massey, Band Director
Foxborough High School; Foxborough, Massachusetts
Brendan Thomas, alto and tenor saxophones; Matt Muirhead, trumpet; Ian Ayers, guitar; Connor Schultze, Bass;  and Christian Lyman, drumsBEST COMBO – SPECIALIZED HIGH SCHOOL
Manasia Improv Ensemble, Jeremy Manasia, Band Director
Manhattan School of Music Precollege; New York, New York
Elijah Shiffer, alto saxophone; Kevin Sun, tenor saxophone; Adam O’Farrill, trumpet; Luke Celenza, piano;  Daryl Johns, bass; and Clint Mobley, drums

Elijah Shiffer awarded “Outstanding Arranger” for his arrangement of Mingus’s Jelly Roll.  Mr. Shiffer,  from Mount Vernon, NY, attends the Manhattan School of Music Precollege.

The Saxophone Section from the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Big Band; Jeremy Manasia, Band Director
Elijah Shiffer, David Kolchmeyer, alto sax; Kevin Sun, Miguel Rodriguez, tenor sax; and Michael Schramm, baritone sax

Bass:  Connor Schultze
Foxborough High School, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Guitar:  Victor San Pedro
Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, California

Trombone: Tom Chalmers
Trumpet: Ross Hoyt
Bass:  Henry Fraser
The Rivers School, Weston, Massachusetts

Trumpet: Adam O’Farrill
Piano:  Luke Celenza
Alto Sax: Elijah Shiffer
Tenor Sax: Kevin Sun
Bass:  Daryl Johns
Manhattan School of Music Precollege, New York, NY

Drums:  Xavier Hill
York College/CUNY, New York, NY

Piano:  Mike Raleigh
Boston Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts

Alto Sax: Elliot Scozzaro
Kenmore East High School, Tonawanda, New York

Tenor Sax: Lomar Brown
Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, Connecticut

Soprano Sax: Erik Stabnau
Trombone: Nelson Campbell
Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY

The Charles Mingus High School Competition was open this year to high school jazz combos and big bands nationwide. (Last year’s competition, the first of its kind, was open to ensembles from the Northeast.)  The goal of the competition is to provide an opportunity for high school music students to explore the enormously varied works of Charles Mingus and to find their own voices within the music.  The finalists were chosen from high school jazz bands from across the country: California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

In addition to the Charles Mingus High School Competition that took place on Sunday, the two-day Charles Mingus Festival  included on Saturday, February 13, clinics given by members of the Mingus repertory bands, a student jam session, and a concert of Mingus’s music showcasing his blues and gospel roots. Performing the concert was the Mingus Orchestra, with Gunther Schuller and Harpist Edmar Castaneda, guest artist, given at New York City’s historic St. Bartholomew’s Church.

Charles Mingus, a virtuoso bassist, accomplished pianist and bandleader, is recognized as a major 20th-century composer, whose entire works have been acquired by the Library of Congress – a first for jazz, and a first for an African-American composer.  He recorded more than 100 albums and composed more than 300 compositions, music that is still considered far ahead of its time, leaving behind the largest legacy of composition in American music after Duke Ellington.  The Mingus Bands remain devoted to his vast repertoire and under the artistic direction of Sue Mingus, play to critical acclaim throughout the world.  Their critical and popular successes are a testament to the power of Mingus’s composition.  The availability of his music through published arrangements, educational books, school courses, and workshops, coupled with the hugely successful Charles Mingus High School Competition, have extended the reach of his legacy.

* * * * *
Below is a listing of the participating schools and the repertoire that they played:

Combo Category – Regular High Schools
•   Foxborough High School Jazz Quintet – Stephen C. Massy, Band Director
Foxborough High School, Foxborough, Massachusetts
Program:  Moanin’; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, arr. by group; So Long Eric, arr. by group
•   Rio Americano Combo – Maxwell Kiesner, Band Director
Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, California
Program: Fables of Faubus, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, O.P. arr. collectively by group
•   Rivers Select Combo – Philippe Crettien, Band Director
The Rivers School, Weston, Massachusetts
Program: Pithecanthropus Erectus, arr. Todd Chalmers; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, arr. Henry Fraser, Elliot Berman; Better
Get Hit in Your Soul, arr. by Colin Beagan, Ross Hoyt

Combo Category – Specialized High Schools
•   Eastman Youth Jazz Combo – Howard Potter, Band Director
Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York
Program:  Fables of Faubus, Ecculsiastics, O.P. arr. collectively by group
•    Manasia Improv Ensemble – Jeremy Manasia, Band Director
Manhattan School of Music Precollege, New York, New York
Program: Peggy’s Blue Skylight, Jelly Roll, arr. by Elijah Shiffer, Pithecanthropus Erectus
•     York College Blue Notes – Tom Zlabinger, Band Director
York College/CUNY, New York, New York
Program: Slippers, Work Song, Pithecanthropus Erectus, arr. by group

Big Band Category – Regular High Schools
•    Boston Latin Big Band – Paul J. Pitts, Band Director
Boston Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts
Program:  Nostalgia in Times Square, Sue’s Changes, Haitian Fight Song
•    Kenmore East High School Jazz Band – Phil Aguglia, Band Director
Kenmore East High School, Tonawanda, New York
Program:  Fables of Faubus, Self-Portrait in Three Colors; Better Get Hit in Your Soul
•    Rivers Big Band – Philippe Crettien, Band Director
The Rivers School, Weston, Massachusetts
Program:  Songs with Orange, Sue’s Changes, Haitian Fight Song

Big Band Category – Specialized High Schools
•    MSM Precollege Big Band – Jeremy Manasia, Band Director
Manhattan School of Music Precollege, New York, NY
Program: Better Get Hit in Your Soul, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Boogie Stop Shuffle
•    Academy Big Band – Douglas Maher, Band Director
Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, Connecticut
Program: Opus 4, Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love, GG Train
•    Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra – Howard Potter, Band Director
Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York
Program: Duke Ellington’s Sounds of Love, Jelly Roll, Haitian Fight Song

* * * * *All photos by Brian Hatton

NYT: Mingus High School Competition & FestIval and Mingus Orchestra at St. Bart’s
Fri, Feb. 12 2010
★ CHARLES MINGUS FESTIVAL (Saturday and Sunday) The centerpiece of this weekend affair, celebrating the music and memory of the bassist-composer Charles Mingus, is a free concert at 7 p.m. on Saturday, featuring the Mingus Orchestra, conducted by Gunther Schuller, in a cathedral setting [St. Bart’s]. At Manhattan School of Music on Sunday the Charles Mingus High School Competition culminates in early-evening performances by the MSM’s Mingus Jazz Combo (at 5:30 p.m.) and the professional-grade Mingus Dynasty Band (at 6). MSM 122nd and Broadway, / St. Bartholomew’s Church, Park Avenue at 51st Street, (212) 378-0248,; free. (Chinen) (details corrected)
NY Post: Mingus High School Competition & FestIval and Mingus Orchestra at St. Bart’s
Fri, Feb. 12 2010
“It seems only right that entry would be free to this weekend’s tribute to Charles Mingus, who was inarguably one of jazz’s most irrepressible figures. The second annual Charles Mingus Festival starts Saturday at 12:15 p.m. with “Mingus Movies,” followed by a 2 p.m. rhythm, sax and brass clinic; a 3:30 p.m. jam session featuring high school musicians from all over the country; and a 7 p.m. Mingus Orchestra performance at St. Bartholomew’s Church (325 Park Ave., at 50th Street). The party continues Sunday with a 10 a.m. competition among high school jazz combos, a 2:15 p.m. battle of high school big bands, a performance by the Mingus Dynasty at 6 p.m. and, finally, a 6:30 p.m. awards ceremony for the bands that played earlier in the day. Except for Saturday’s concert, it all happens at Manhattan School of Music, 120 Claremont Avenue, at East 122nd St.; 212-749-2802,”