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Canadian Heritage

Charles Mingus


CHARLES MINGUS (bassist, pianist, composer, bandleader) was born on a military base in Nogales, Arizona in 1922 and died on January 5, 1979 in Mexico. One of the true giants of jazz and contemporary American music, he took formal bass and composition in his early years as well as absorbing popular music – later performing with bands like Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory and Lionel Hampton. Settling in New York in the 1950s he became an integral part of burgeoning jazz scene along with Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Art Tatum. During his lifetime Mingus’ prolific output included 100 albums and over 300 scores. His legacy lives on in repertory bands,the Mingus Dynasty, Mingus Big Band and Mingus Orchestra an NEA Mingus Foundation grant among other public honours.