Sue Mingus’ official press photo
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Since Charles Mingus’ death in 1979, Sue Mingus has created and continues to direct repertory ensembles that carry on the music of her late husband. The most well known is the Mingus Big Band, a New York institution, which performs weekly at the Jazz Standard, and alternates with the Mingus Dynasty and the Mingus Orchestra. In 1989, she produced Mingus’ monumental Epitaph in its premiere at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. She has produced numerous Grammy-nominated recordings with Mingus repertory bands and the 2011 Grammy winning Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard, as well as several legacy recordings.
Sue Mingus has published educational books including, Charles Mingus: More than a Fake Book, and several Charles Mingus: More than a Play Alongs, distributed by Hal Leonard Publishers. Other publications include Mingus Big Band charts, a book of guitar chars, and a special series for students called “Simply Mingus.” In 2008, she founded the Charles Mingus High School Competition which has been held annually at the Manhattan School of Music.
In 2002, Pantheon (Random House) released Sue’s memoir of her life with Mingus entitled Tonight At Noon, which was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year. It was released in paperback by DaCapo press and has been translated into several languages.