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.
The Charles Mingus composition “Moanin'” was sampled for Jordin Spark’s new track “1000”. You can hear the Mingus Big Band sample on her new album, “Right Here Right Now”.
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.
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.
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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