"Jazz & The Beats." Mingus Big Band & Readings From On The Road

The Charles Mingus-Jack Kerouac Dual Centennial Celebration:

The year is 1922. Two of mid-20th Century seminal voices - one CHARLES MINGUS [4/22/22], the other JACK KEROUAC [3/12/22] - would enter the world just 42 days apart. Each would become greatly influence not only their peers and colleagues, but also the next several generations. They likely influenced each other. Their lives would run parallel, likely intersect and overlap, each sensing the other's voice. Did they ever meet, cross paths or befriend each other? Perhaps yes on all three counts; perhaps no on all three counts; perhaps somewhere in between. 
   Writing in the European Journal of American Studies, critic James J. Donohue noted the following in his article titled, "Tonal Poetry, Bop Aesthetics, and Jack Kerouac’s Visions of Gerard," notes the following: "Jack Kerouac composed his novel Visions of Gerard in 1956 (released in 1963), the same year Charles Mingus released his classic album Pithecanthropus Erectus... Reading Kerouac’s novel in terms of Mingus’ methods of composition as recorded on that album, we can more clearly hear the influence of jazz on Kerouac’s prose..."
   But, enough of this intellectual drivel. The point of OUR “exercise” here - that is to say this event - is to enjoin and enjoy these two giants’ impact as part of "Jazz Appreciation Month," and deliver with great assistance from those on stage a vehicle for a Dual Centennial Celebration.
   The "main event" of this heavyweight excursion centers on the MINGUS BIG BAND - a 14-piece jubilant, raucous, killer ensemble with a rotating cast comprised of some of today's best technical, compositional and innovative musicians and bandleaders. Collectively, they are as close to mastering and capturing the complexities, subtleties, nuances and joy - all traits of Mingus' music - and delivering his compositions in such authentic, fanciful and powerful fashion that it regularly mesmerizes and enchants an audience. This is no tribute band; every night - as Mingus' publishing company indicated - this collective is running a Jazz Workshop. Having formed the Mingus Big Band not long after Mingus' 1979 death from ALS ("Lou Gehrig's Disease"). The different members of this ensemble have turned this into a mission, into a quest to deliver consequential music in a consequential way, which, by the way, they have done for 30 years and continue to do night after night.
   Under the direction of Sue Mingus, Charles Mingus' wife, the long-running ensemble performed weekly in New York City when not tour, doing so from 1991 to 2004, then elsewhere for four years, until finding its next permanent spot from 2008 until COVID hit at the Jazz Standard. "Mingus Mondays" became a New York musical institution. They've won GRAMMYs and other awards along the way; they've headlined festivals - as they will globally during this Centennial Year - on every continent. The Mingus Big Band is tantamount to being on an unending musical odyssey. On this night, the group stops at the Jazz Series' door, making us all   fortunate participants in this year-long celebration of one of the most significant 20th Century American composers. As it turns out, this is only the group's second Jazz Series appearance, and the first one in more than 20 years - which means it should not be missed.
   KEROUAC, just like Mingus, looms as a larger-than-life, nearly mythical character - only he was quite real. Without Kerouac and his ilk such as Allan Ginsburg, Neal Cassidy, Gregory Corso among others, there just might not have been a Ken Kesey or a psychedelic movement launch by the bay. Perhaps this is an exaggeration. It's moot at this time. Kerouac served as a large portion of The Beat Generation's heartbeat - and the 1957 release of ON THE ROAD, his non-stop typescript, became athematic, the symbolic and perhaps real apex of Beat literature.
  Given the title's importance; given the interrelationship between musicians and the beat writers in general and, more specifically, between Mingus and Kerouac, it seemed far too organically appropriate not to call upon a cache of people to begin this evening's proceedings reading selected Kerouac On The Road passages followed by Mingus Big Band delivering an elongated set of music.
   U Dig?

Thursday, Apr. 28, 2022

"Jazz in the District"

Blue Note

Doors: 6 | Start: 7
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MINGUS BIG BAND includes some of the best musicians & bandleaders in the world who rotate with each other according to their individual schedules.
BASS: Boris Kozlov, Andy McKee, Mike Richmond, Hans Glawischnig/ TRUMPETS Alex Sipiagin, Walter White, Philip Harper, Anthony Fazio, Walter White, Tatum Greenblatt, Alex Pope Norris, Jack Walrath/ TROMBONES: Conrad Herwig, Robin Eubanks, Luis Bonilla, Earl McIntyre, Dave Taylor, Clark Gayton, Andy Hunter, Joe Fiedler, Coleman Hughes/ SAXOPHONES: Alex Foster, Wayne Escoffery, Abraham Burton, Scott Robinson, Lauren Sevian, Jason Marshall, Sam Dillon, Brandon Fields, Steve Slagle, David Lee Jones, Mark Gross, Alex Terrier/ PIANO: David Kikoski, Helen Sung, Theo Hill, Jim Ridl/ DRUMS: Donald Edwards, Adam Cruz, Tommy Campbell, Johnathan Blake.


"The Mingus Big Band is a wonder and an anomaly...the Mingus Band has taken a musical legacy and transformed it into a creative force that generates a contemporary originality and vitality all its own. They are an important part of the current jazz scene and a constant reminder that jazz—big band jazz, at that—is not merely entertainment but a powerful art form and means of expression."

- All About Jazz


“The hippest big band in the universe - robust, earthy, sanctified.”

- Time Out New York

*All performances/personnel, dates are subject to Pandemic Developments. We adhere to Boone Co./Columbia Health Dept. & CDC Guidelines.

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