Mingus Big Band

The Purdue Jazz Festival kicks off with the ebullient spirit of Charles Mingus. Paying tribute to one of the most important figures in twentieth-century American music, the 14-member Mingus Big Band will celebrate the 50th anniversary of two legendary Mingus albums, Mingus Ah Um and Blues & Roots.

Bold and boisterous, these albums reveal Mingus as the virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader, and composer who infused the rather conventional big band sound of the 1950s and 60s with avant-garde techniques, idiosyncratic rhythms, and a disarming sense of humor. Keeping his music alive in a weekly set at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, the Mingus Big Band features a roster of New York’s best musicians who impart an irrepressible sense of joy in Mingus’s already spirited music. Back by popular demand, the Big Band sold out their 1999 engagement at Purdue.

The Mingus Big Band kicks off the 2009 Purdue Jazz Festival on January 16

The Mingus Big Band kicks off the 2009 Purdue Jazz Festival on January 16

This performance will be the opening concert of the Purdue Jazz Festival and serves as Convocations’ annual contribution to the Purdue University Bands event, which brings over 2,000 middle- and high-school students to campus for clinics and concerts with noted jazz artists and clinicians. Details at www.purdue.edu/bands

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