mingus amungus
a celebration of the spirit of charles mingus in music and dance

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about charles mingus and mingus amungus
Charles Mingus is one of the most difficult players and composers of the bop and post-bop era to define. His complex rhythms and tempos made him a stand-out artist within the jazz genre. His thematic compositions, were often inspired by political events and/or people, such as "Fables of Faubus," named after Orval E. Faubus, Governor of Arkansas who, in 1957, deployed the National Guard to prevent a few black children from entering Little Rock's Central High School. His music covered a wide range of styles, from his earliest work with Louis Armstrong to his later free-form orchestral compositions.

Musically, Mingus never played it safe. His artistic intent was to create an immediate emotional statement through what he created. While he relied on the individual strength of his players, he would always inspire and channel their creative energies toward collective expression.

Similarly, with the individual strengths of his players in mind, Miles Perkins brings Mingus' musical philosophy into the the new millennium with Mingus Amungus. Musically, he too, like Mingus, never plays it safe. The all-star seven piece band weaves its way through Mingus' intricate charts with hard-hitting be-bop, funk and classical. The band then sprinkles San Francisco's native Hip-Hop Jazz flavor into the mix with a variety of lyricists, thereby bringing Mingus' work into the contemporary age. Recognized with a 1997 BAMMIE award for Most Outstanding Jazz Club Band, Mingus Amungus is a noted festival favorite and a must-see act. 

Combining cultures, Mingus Amungus frequently works with dancers who focus on Jazz Improvisational, Haitian and Brazilian dance. These collaborations are breathtaking performances and can include up to 15 musicians, drummers, vocalists and dancers providing the audience with a glimpse into the richness of cultures that are often undervalued in urban society.

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