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Nogales’ 8th Annual Charles Mingus Hometown Music Festival

The Eighth Annual Charles Mingus Hometown Music Festival returned to Nogales Saturday, April 23 with a day-long tribute to jazz great Charles Mingus.

nogales mingus festival

Photo credit: Lucy Bigelow | Fred Milner leading the Challenger Elementary School Choir.

The festival opened with jazz bands from Rio Rico and Patagonia high schools, followed by the Pima Community College Jazz Band, Nawdy Dawgs, Challenger Elementary School Choir and Lo Bros. The Nogales High School Jazz Band wrapped up the performances.

Charles Mingus Hometown Music Festival

Charles Mingus Hometown Music Festival

This annual festival will open with jazz bands from Rio Rico and Patagonia high schools, followed by the Pima Community College Jazz Band, Nawdy Dawgs, Challenger Elementary School Choir, Lo Bros and ending with the Nogales High School Jazz Band. There will be vendors with food and drink, and a beer garden.

Review: Mingus’ ‘Black Saint’ reinvented by Greg Ward and dancers

Chicago Tribune Review: Mingus’ ‘Black Saint’ reinvented by Greg Ward and dancers

Chicagoans who admire Charles Mingus’ “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady” are having a very good year.

In May, Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra played what is believed to have been the world premiere concert version of Mingus’ landmark recording. The performance at Spertus Institute took a while to gain momentum, but eventually it achieved critical mass, enabling listeners to hear the 1963 work in the best way possible: live.

On Thursday night, former Chicago saxophonist Greg Ward reconceived Mingus’ magnum opus, collaborating with choreographer Onye Ozuzu for a spectacle in sight and sound at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. This, too, was a significant occasion, notwithstanding the characteristically clumsy live video that flickered on the Pritzker’s oversized LED screen.

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