Wellington Mingus Ensemble

  • When: 2nd Mar 10:00am
  • Where: Mainstreet Stage
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Showcasing the music of prolific jazz composer Charles Mingus, the Wellington Mingus Ensemble includes some of New Zealand’s finest jazz performers collaborating together to create an expansive sound rich in texture and high in energy. Arranged by a variety of prominent New York jazz musicians for a sixteen piece big band, the pieces are expressive, energetic, and dramatic.

The Wellington Mingus Ensemble features a wide variety captivating soloists, and focuses on creating enthralling improvised musical passages around tightly arranged ensemble sections.

Charles Mingus was a notable jazz composer, double bassist, and bandleader. He originally played with bebop pioneers Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, before breaking away to pursue his own music. Highly regarded for his bass playing, he penned a diverse array of complex compositions that blended elements of gospel, blues, spanish music, free jazz, and classical music. Often viewed as heir apparent to Duke Ellington, Mingus’ writing for his group was inspired and decidedly modern.

The Wellington Mingus Ensemble performs classic arrangements of songs from some of Mingus’ seminal recordings such as Mingus Ah Um, Blues & Roots, Changes One, and Changes Two.