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Charles Mingus


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Mingus Supernova


Nicknamed “Mingus”, it was described at the 221st American Astronomical Society meeting in the US.

This explosive event is the result of a massive star exhausting the hydrogen and helium that fuel its nuclear fires. It is the heat from these nuclear fusion processes that prevents the star collapsing under its own weight. As the core collapses, a rebounding shock wave blows off the outer layers of the star (red) at thousands of kilometers per second. A supernova (white and blue, centre) may briefly outshine an entire galaxy.


Lew Soloff

Lew Soloff‘s passing is a profound loss to me personally and to everyone in the Mingus Big Band.
We will miss Lew as the great friend and musician he was and as the celebrant of life who was as excited about food and feasts and new discoveries of all kinds as he was about music and trumpet playing. We shared meals around the world — Lew was forever investigating and uncovering some new place even here in the city. His vitality and his enthusiasm for life inspired all of us. He will be profoundly missed.
— Sue Mingus


Reviews: Mingus Big Band at Ronnie Scott’s, Oct 20-25, 2014

Thank you to Ronnie Scott’s for hosting a great week of Mingus music in London!

The Telegraph (click for link)

“Profound… The moments when the band came together were the most fascinating, because you could see anarchy and tight discipline rubbing shoulders… Holding these things in balance is bound to stir up unruly emotions, not at all of them bright. Sometimes it seemed as if the sheer intensity on that stage could spill over into a fist-fight. That feeling carries us back to something primordial in jazz, which is why these annual visits by the Mingus Big Band have become a fixture in the jazz-lover’s calendar.”

London Jazz News (click for link)

A great tradition has been invented: this time of year has become synonymous with the Mingus Big Band spending a week at Ronnie Scott’s.  Impressive display of interplay and remarkable improvisational talent present all evening.”

Jazzwise Magazine (click for link)

“The 14-piece ensemble that plays the music of Charles Mingus is a big beast of an orchestra that roars mightily but knows how to seductively purr when revealing the wry sensitivity that was also an integral part of the great bassist-pianist-composer’s psyche. “

Nat Hentoff & “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step”

On Thursday, October 16th, 2014, at 7:00pm Suffolk University will screen the film The Pleasure of Being Out of Step a documentary film about the life of seminal jazz critic and Boston native, Nat Hentoff whose career tracks the greatest cultural and political movements of the last 65 years.  Hentoff is a pioneer who raised jazz as an art form and was present at the creation of ‘alternative’ journalism in this country, and a personal friend of Mingus.  The screening will feature a performance by the Boston Latin School Jazz Combo under the direction of Paul J. Pitts, Director.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In memory of her husband, Sue Mingus participates in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

In 1977, Charles Mingus was diagnosed with ALS. On January 5, 1979, he passed away at age 56 in Mexico. He was cremated the next day. On the day of his death, 56 sperm whales beached themselves in Mexico and were removed by fire.


Note: Ice water tossed by Executive Chef James Kent of Danny Meyer’s Nomad Restaurant