Mingus Awareness Project Concert
to benefit the Les Turner ALS Foundation
ADMISSION: $20 / $15 for students
On December 16, a group of musicians will gather at Martyrs’ to celebrate the life and music of Charles Mingus, and to benefit the Les Turner ALS Foundation. Mingus, an American musical hero who died of ALS, is one of the greatest figures in jazz history. His bass playing, compositions and philosophy have transcended his genre and left indelible marks on music history.
Attendees will have opportunities to participate in a raffle during the event. Donations can be made to the Les Turner ALS Foundation via the Mingus Awareness Project link. Your donations are greatly appreciated. All proceeds will go to benefit the Les Turner ALS Foundation.
This Mingus Awareness Project concert is presented by the Borderbend Arts Collective, in partnership with the Les Turner ALS Foundation. This will be the twelfth Mingus Awareness Project concert since its inception in 2007. Mingus Awareness Project concerts have happened in Chicago (at the Velvet Lounge, Jazz Showcase, Hideout, HotHouse, and Fitzgeralds) and Richmond, Virginia (at the Camel, Rhythm Hall, and Balliceaux).
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or motor neuron disease (MND), causes motor neurons to stop working and die. The result is loss of voluntary movement and muscle functions such as speaking, swallowing, and breathing. ALS occurs regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. ALS is most common between 40 and 70 years of age, although it can strike at any age. In the US, someone is diagnosed every 90 minutes, and 35,000 people are living with ALS. Average lifespan is three to five years from diagnosis. Approximately 10% of all cases are inherited forms, and a faulty protein pathway is known to play a role in all types of ALS. Though treatment of symptoms often improves quality of life, there is no cure for ALS.
About the Les Turner ALS Foundation
Since 1977, the Les Turner ALS Foundation has been a leader in research, patient care, and education about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and other motor neuron diseases (MND). The Foundation serves more than 90% of the ALS population in the Chicago area. The Foundation is also one of the nation's largest independent ALS organizations and has raised nearly $45 million to fight Lou Gehrig's disease. In addition, through wide-ranging research and symposiums for healthcare professionals, the Foundation reaches the ALS community worldwide. The Foundation is affiliated with Northwestern Medicine and is a founding member of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations.
Check back soon for updates regarding the set list and other details!
You can RSVP via Facebook.
The jazz artist Charles Mingus (born on April 22, 1922) left behind an amazing legacy that includes a stellar catalog of compositions such as "Goodbye Porkpie Hat," "Better Get Hit in Your Soul," and "Fables of Faubus"; a career that included working with many musical greats such as Duke Ellington, Eric Dolphy, Dannie Richmond, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Max Roach, and Joni Mitchell; and approaches to the jazz idiom such as directions for big bands that have been indelibly etched into jazz vocabulary. *
Mingus would have been 90 this year, but sadly he died of ALS in 1979. Sue Graham Mingus, who met Charles in the early '60s, was married to him and took care of him throughout his illness. Tonight at Noon: A Love Story, Sue Mingus' eloquent memoir, contains many memorable anecdotes of her life with Mingus. Sue has been directing The Mingus Bands for more than 30 years, and also directs Mingus jazz education outreach in New York City.
The Borderbend Arts Collective has presented ten Charles Mingus-inspired concerts, including nine Mingus Awareness Project concerts in Chicago and Richmond, Virginia. Borderbend is planning special programming this year, in honor of Mingus' 90th birthday -- including the next Mingus Awareness Project concert which happens at Fitzgerald's on May 17th. More announcements will be made soon...
* Many excellent books about Mingus have been published. Check out Gene Santoro's Myself When I Am Real, Mingus' autobiography Beneath the Underdog, and Sue Mingus' Tonight at Noon.
pictured above: Mingus Awareness Project poster image designed by Josh Josue
Here are several recordings from Mingus Awareness Project concerts. Enjoy!