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Mingus music in Jaco Pastorius Documentary

Two Mingus compositions — “Dry Cleaner of Des Moines” and “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”– can be heard in an upcoming production JACO: A Documentary Film.
JACO tells the story of Jaco Pastorius, a self-taught, larger-than-life musician who changed the course of modern music.  Never-before-seen archive footage unveils the story of Jaco’s life, his music, his demise, and the lasting victory of artistic genius.  Featuring Joni Mitchell, Sting, Flea, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins, Santana, Wayner Shorter and more.  JACO will leave you longing for a time when “musicians owned the music industry.”  Produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo with Passion Pictures (Searching For Sugar Man) and directed by Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijack.

Read more here

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Aids Research

One year ago, Sue Mingus participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in memory of her husband, Charles Mingus.  A stunt that once seemed silly, now scientists say it paid for a breakthrough. The ALS Association says the ice bucket challenge raised $115 million in six weeks, and many participants have become repeat donors.  Research led Johns Hopkins scientists focused on a protein called TDP-43 that in some circumstances is linked to cell death in the brain or spinal cord of patients.  The scientists found that inserting a custom-designed protein allowed cells to return to normal.  The research at Johns Hopkins on TDP-43 was already underway, but scientist Philip Wong says ice bucket money helped accelerate the work and allowed the team to conduct some high-risk, high-reward experiments that were critical to the outcome.

Read more:  New York Times and Science Magazine

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.

Continue reading the full article here