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SPECIAL EVENT: Mingus Centennial Celebration
April 21 @ 7:30 PM
Mingus Centennial Arizona Tour
Mingus Dynasty Quintet featuring Jack Walrath with special guest artist Charles McPherson
Charles McPherson-alto saxophone, Jack Walrath-trumpet, Craig Handy-tenor saxophone, Theo Hill-piano, Andy McKee-bass, Chris Beck-drums
The Mingus Dynasty Quintet featuring Jack Walrath and special guest artist Charles McPherson (who both worked extensively with Mingus) will honor the centennial year of legendary jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus with a three-city tour of Southern Arizona.
Mingus Dynasty and Charles McPherson teamed up in 2018 to present Mingus’s entire “Tijuana Moods” album live for the first time in San Diego, followed by Mingus Dynasty performances and educational events in Phoenix, La Jolla, Portland, and at the Tucson Jazz Festival. The Mingus Dynasty band for those events included this tour’s pianist, Theo Hill.
Charles McPherson headlined the 2013 Charles Mingus Hometown Music Festival in Nogales and was featured the next day at a Mingus concert in Tucson, and this year he brought his Quintet to The Nash Jazz Club in Phoenix for its 9th Anniversary Celebration. His latest recording, Jazz Dance Suites, was named #1 New Release by the Jazz Times 2020 Reader’s Poll.
Jack Walrath has written compositions and arrangements for Charles Mingus and many others. In addition to leading his own jazz groups, he played with Mingus for years and then served as leader and member of both Mingus Dynasty and the Charles Mingus Big Band. In 1993, he conducted Mingus’s Epitaph and the world premiere of a long-lost movement from that masterwork at “Jazz on the Border: The Mingus Project” in Nogales (the original inspiration for the festival that ends this tour).
The tour will kick off on Thursday, April 21, 2022 at The Nash Jazz Club in Phoenix, Arizona’s premiere jazz venue. The next evening, on Charles Mingus’s 100th birthday, the celebration continues at Arizona’s newest major jazz club, the Century Room at Hotel Congress in Tucson. The club’s name celebrates both the 100th year of Hotel Congress and Charles Mingus’s birth in Nogales, Arizona. On April 23, 2022, the tour moves on to participate in the annual jazz festival held in Nogales, and to dedicate the new Mingus Memorial built at the former entrance to Camp Little, where Charles Mingus was born and his father served as a Buffalo Soldier.
Mingus Dynasty was the first band Sue Mingus organized after her husband Charles Mingus’s death in 1979. Although big bands like the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey bands had continued to perform after their leader passed on, a similar legacy never existed for smaller ensembles. Because Mingus always said he was first and foremost a composer, and because he left behind over 300 compositions that deserved to be played, a band carrying on his music became a natural, if unanticipated, mission. For the sake of authenticity, the first Dynasty bands were expected to include only musicians who had actually performed with Mingus—except for the bass player of course. Today, more than forty years later, the rich legacy of Mingus music ignites the bandstand while new generations of musicians—many of them not even alive during the composer’s lifetime—add their individual voices and continue to interpret and build on his compositions. Mingus Dynasty made two appearances (on their own, and backing up Lew Tabackin) at the 2018 Tucson Jazz Festival, and member Brandon Wright was featured at the 2017 Mingus Hometown Music Festival.
Tier 1: $45 (Tier 1 seats are at 2-top tables)
Tier 2: $42
Tier 3: $37
Students: $14.80 (Use code “student” at checkout)
(Plus processing costs)