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The 12th Annual Charles Mingus Festival will be February 14-17, 2020

Produced by Let My Children Hear Music (The Charles Mingus Institute), and Dr. Keller Coker of The New School, the 12th Annual Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival takes place in February. This year’s Festival includes a film showcase, student jams, a full day of instrumental clinics exploring the music of Charles Mingus, performances by the Mingus Big Band, and the nationwide Competition showcasing young jazz talent from high schools across the country.  Outstanding Soloists have an opportunity to perform with the Mingus Big Band on Sunday night! 

In addition, one $25,000 tuition scholarship to The New School will be awarded in the name of Charles Mingus, to a graduating senior participating in the Mingus Festival. Award will be based on Competition performance, and application and acceptance to The New School’s Jazz & Contemporary Music program.

Distinguished past adjudicators include: Gunther Schuller, Conductor/Composer, Pulitzer-Prize and MacArthur Grant Winner; Ken Pullig, Professor, Berklee College of Music; Justin DiCioccio, Director, Manhattan School of Music Jazz Arts Program; Conrad Herwig, Chair of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University; Robin Eubanks, Jazz Professor, Oberlin College; and musician/educators Boris Kozlov, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Scott Robinson, Randy Brecker, Seamus Blake, Vincent Herring, Donny McCaslin, Christian McBride, Reggie Workman and many others.

All events are open to the public.

Can’t make it to New York City?  You can still participate!  Each school receives Mingus music for study, and expert feedback from Mingus musicians and educators!



Audio of Chart Selections 

Music provided by:
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Check out footage of past festivals!

Mingus High School Competition & Festival Overview


Past Competition & Festival Highlights


An excerpt from our 2012 Festival–
Brass Clinic featuring Randy Brecker and Conrad Herwig

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LET MY CHILDREN HEAR MUSIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created in 1986 to promote the compositional legacy of musician and composer Charles Mingus though publishing, education, archival preservation, and performance. Download printable sheet for more info (PDF).

Charles Mingus is recognized as a major 20th century composer, whose entire works have been acquired by the Library of Congress – a first for jazz, and a first for an African-American composer. Mingus left behind the largest legacy of composition in American music after Duke Ellington. The Mingus Bands remain devoted to this vast repertoire, and under the artistic direction of Sue Mingus, play to great critical acclaim around the world.

The Mingus Bands are available for concerts, residencies, master classes and commissions. See videos featuring each of the bands See video highlighting educational activities and possibilities

Booking and Media Inquires: Jazz Workshop, Inc. / Let My Children Hear Music, Inc. 484 W. 43rd St., Suite 43-S New York, NY 10036 (212) 736-4749  jazzworkshop at

Donate to Let My Children Hear Music/The Charles Mingus Institute:
Contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.  To make a donation, please send a check or money order to the address above.