Make Music New York inaugurates a new series called Make Music Monthly, featuring conversations with musical luminaries recorded live at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village. This series is co-presented with the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
On January 15, 2014, jazz historian and composer Gunther Schuller speaks about Charles Mingus’s monumental “Epitaph,” 25 years after he conducted the work’s world premiere.
Hosted by Make Music New York founder Aaron Friedman, the discussion will be recorded and published as a podcast available on the Make Music New York and New School websites.
In an episode airing Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, Mingus’s composition Love Chant will be featured in an episode of Dick Wolf’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, starring Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson.
This day January 5, 2014, marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Charles Mingus’s death. Although he has departed this world, his legacy and spirit live on.
At NPR.org you can listen to Epitaph, conducted by Gunther Schuller, the extended masterwork that Mingus wrote for his tombstone.
“Tuesday, November 22nd, 1966, jazz musician Charlie Mingus waited with his five-year-old daughter Carolyn, to be evicted from his studio at 22 Great Jones Street, New York. Mingus had planned to open a music school and jazz workshop at this Lower East Side loft, but he had been frustrated in his intentions and had fallen behind in the rent.
As he waited for the NYPD and the Sanitation Department to arrive and remove his belongings, filmmaker Thomas Reichman recorded an intimate portrait of one of the jazz music’s greatest composers and performers. In the film, Mingus is seen moving distractedly amongst his boxed possessions, showing great affection for his daughter, recalling happier times living on Fifth Avenue, and acknowledging the inherent racism in America by offering his own Pledge of Allegiance….”