NATCHITOCHES — The Northwestern State University Tuesday Night Jazz Combo will present a musical celebration of Charles Mingus and his music from the Civil Rights era Monday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.
The program will include “Better Git It In Your Soul,” “Fables of Faubus” and “Haitian Fight Song” by Mingus and “Stars Fell on Alabama” by Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parish.
Mingus played and recorded with the leading musicians of the 1950s including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Duke Ellington. One of the few bassists to do so, Mingus quickly developed as a leader of musicians. He was also an accomplished pianist who could have made a career playing that instrument. By the mid-50s he had formed his own publishing and recording companies to protect and document his growing repertoire of original music. He also founded the Jazz Workshop, a group which enabled young composers to have their new works performed in concert and on recordings.
Mingus soon found himself at the forefront of the avant-garde. His recordings bear witness to the extraordinarily creative body of work that followed. He recorded more than 100 albums and wrote more than 300 scores. He wrote his first concert piece, “Half-Mast Inhibition,” when he was 17 years old. Mingus’ “Revelations” which combined jazz and classical idioms, was performed at the 1955 Brandeis Festival of the Creative Arts and established him as one of the foremost jazz composers of his day.
The Tuesday Night Jazz Combo includes Justin Lindsay on soprano saxophone, Tajh Derosier on tenor saxophone, Max Spedale on trumpet, Edgar Avilan on piano, Jimmy Leach on vibes, Adam Leblanc on bass and Nestor Mercado on drums.