Creative Sonoma

The Life and Work of Charles Mingus

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Presented by Healdsburg Jazz Festival at Online/Virtual Space

Jun 28
The Life and Work of Charles Mingus

James Newton, world-renowned musician, composer, and educator will take us on a journey through the life and work of Charles Mingus.

James Newton, world renowned musician, composer and educator will take us on a journey through the life and work of Charles Mingus, one of the most original bandleaders ever. Charles Mingus was a genius composer, bassist, and bandleader whose music is still appreciated and growing in its relevance. His compositions have endured and continue to drive passionate responses from his listeners because they deeply reflect a wide range of human conditions. During the two hour Zoom presentation, Newton will include insights passed down from his mentors Buddy Collette, Red Callendar and Danny Richmond and draw upon his direct experience as a member of the Mingus Dynasty band in the 1980s. This band included the Craig Handy, who will be a special guest during this presentation. Newton will include a unique oral history that cannot be found in books. He will also cover Mingus’s connection to Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Charles Christopher Parker (Charlie Parker), and others. Mingus’ critical essay, “Let My Children Hear Music,” will be discussed and be posted on our website prior so that people can read it before the session. He will conclude with original Mingus orchestral compositions performed by the original Mingus Big Band. The presentation will use audio recordings, DVDs, and video clips from different decades, and Nesuhi Ertegun’s (Atlantic Records) interview of Mingus. Newton is not only a well-known musician and composer but also an educator at the highest level. He is a distinguished Professor emeritus in the Composition Global Jazz Studies department at the Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Please visit for more information about the class and a comprehensive biography and overview of the impressive teaching credentials of James Newton.


Free (registration required).

Contact: 707-433-4633


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Online event via the Zoom platform. Login details will be provided upon free registration.More info and registration:

* Event durations (if noted) are approximate. Please check with the presenting organization or venue to confirm start times and duration .



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