Mingus Awareness Project co-creator Jon Godston sent the following message after the most recent piece was published: It was an idea that Dan and I talked about after our Mom passed away in May’06. Both of us live in Chicago, and Dan is pretty active on the jazz scene (his non-profit, Borderbend Arts Collective, organizes […]
Mingus Awareness Project co-creator Jon Godston sent the following message after the most recent piece was published:
It was an idea that Dan and I talked about after our Mom passed away in May’06. Both of us live in Chicago, and Dan is pretty active on the jazz scene (his non-profit, Borderbend Arts Collective, organizes a few music festivals here) – his main instrument is the trumpet (I’ve been playing the soprano sax for a few years). We’ve both been strongly influenced Mingus’ music, and when Dan mentioned Mingus died from ALS, it just made sense that his music be a focal point of the event. May is also ALS Awareness Month, so the first concert here in May’07 allowed us to both support the local ALS organization (Les Turner ALS Foundation), and remember our own Mom’s life. Our Dad, Arjay, was also able to come up from Cincinnati for the concert.
I agree with Doug Richards’ comments about Mingus as a composer and bassist. The compositions have a strong feeling and emotion to them, and you can sense characters portrayed in the melodies. In his recordings and performances, I’ve always dug how Mingus drove the music through (sometimes huge) dynamic and tempo changes…as if the pieces themselves were alive.
The two concerts in Chicago have been great- but I have to say Brian has taken the Richmond events to another level:) We usually had just one band, playing two sets. Our first year we also had an amazing poet (Ed Roberson) read some pieces over the music. Our audiences have been around 50-75 people – hoping to grow that next year. Not sure if we’ll be able to match the Richmond turnout (or number of crazy-talented players), but we’ll try;)
I’m just really thankful that we’ve been able to do something to help the ALS organizations that supported my Mom, and other people affected by the brutal disease. And combining this cause with powerful music will hopefully spread the word further. Although there aren’t other cities involved yet, it would be amazing if there could be. Also, Dan has been in contact with Sue Mingus (he met her when she was here with the Mingus Big Band at the ’07 Chicago Jazz Fest), and she has been very supportive of the project.
Mingus Awareness Project takes place this Sunday, Oct. 26, 4-7 p.m. at Gallery5. 644-0005. Tickets are $12. T-shirts and M.A.P. Trio CDs will be for sale. All proceeds will benefit ALS Association, DC/MD/VA Chapter. For more info, visit alsinfo.org, gallery5arts.org, slangsanctuary.com. Mingus Awareness Project also coincides with the Richmond Walk to Defeat ALS on Saturday. For more info, visit fightals.alsinfo.org.