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MINGUS ORCHESTRA “Better Get It In Your Soul” Music of Charles Mingus

St. Bartholomew’s Church 325 Park Avenue (at 50th Street)
Saturday, February 18, 2012 – 7:30pm

To celebrate the 90th anniversary year of the birth of Charles Mingus, Grammy award-winning Mingus musicians will return to St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue to perform a concert in conjunction with the 2012 Mingus High School Competition & Festival – one of the year’s most important events in jazz education. The weekend includes a day of workshops run by seasoned Mingus musicians and music educators as well as a full day on Sunday devoted to the Competition at Manhattan School of Music. The Mingus Orchestra concert at St. Bart’s will feature the premiere of new arrangements by both Gunther Schuller and Boris Kozlov including “Inquisition” and “Purple Heart” and the usual wide range of Mingus compositions from lush and intricate orchestral pieces to swinging blues. Gunther Schuller will conduct his arrangements.

The Mingus Orchestra features Brandon Wright, Wayne Escoffery, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Philip Harper, Michael Rabinowitz, John Clark, Douglas Yates, David Gilmore, Boris Kozlov, and Donald Edwards. It is produced by Sue Mingus.
 NPR will be broadcasting the 2011 concert from Feb 9 on (Check your local station for dates at times of broadcast. WBGO 88.3 FM AND WBGO.ORG will broadcast Sunday, February 12, at 6pm and Wednesday, February 15, at 6:30pm.)

The St. Bartholomew Concert and the Competition are free to the public but contributions will be welcomed at the concert or online at

“The Orchestra upholds the boisterous Mingus legacy while delving even deeper into his repertory.”   The New York Times

“The lean, sharp ten-piece band features such uncommon instrumentation as a bassoon and a French horn, but this isn’t staid chamber jazz. When the spirit of the late, great one hits them, they steam.”    The New Yorker

“Had American symphony orchestras not discriminated against African-American musicians throughout much of the 20th century, Charles Mingus might have led an entirely different career. Mingus was as much a student of Beethoven and Debussy as of Fats Waller and Duke Ellington, and his classical aspirations found their outlet in dozens of compositions written for a sort of jazz-band-plus that included non-jazz instruments like bassoon, oboe, and French horn. It is to this often-overlooked portion of Charles’ legacy that the Mingus Orchestra is devoted.”  – Andy Schwartz

“I think it is time our children were raised to think they can play bassoon, oboe, French horn, English horn, full percussion, violin, cello. If we so-called jazz musicians who are composers, spontaneous composers, started including these instruments in our music, it would open everything up.”  –  Charles Mingus, Let My Children Hear Music liner notes

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts