Charles Mingus was born in Nogales, Arizona 90 years ago on April 22. The Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts is planning the Charles Mingus Hometown Jazz Festival to celebrate his birthday but we need your help to make this festival a fitting tribute to the great jazz bassist and composer. We also are raising funds to establish the Charles Mingus Memorial and Performance Park at the historical site of the entrance Camp Little where Charles’ father was stationed in the Army in 1922. The City of Nogales has donated the land and will provide the basic infrastructure and we have some other donations of materials. However, we need to raise several thousand dollars to build the basic monument. Any money we raise above our goal will enhance the park even more. Not only will it be a Memorial with mosaic art designed by the town’s mayor and built by local students, it will be a performance facility with a small stage and seating area. We also would like to have a statue and a brass plaque there. We just need this Kickstarter to get it going.
We will have the ground-breaking ceremony during the festival weekend and will unveil the finished Mingus Memorial on his birthday in 2013. The festival will take place on both sides of the US-Mexico border in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora. The weekend will begin with a jazz concert on Friday night in Nogales, Sonora featuring the Claudio Roditi Quintet. Music fans from both sides of the border will attend this kick-off concert. All day Saturday we will bring a free outdoor festival to the people of southern Arizona featuring high school and college jazz bands with guest artists working with the young musicians. That evening will be the Big Band Gala Concert at the James K. Clark Performing Arts Center in Nogales High School. This concert will feature the Santa Cruz Jazz Orchestra with a special guest conductor Sy Johnson, who arranged for Mingus during his lifetime and continues to arrange for the Mingus bands. Also featured will be the Big Band Sounds of Green Valley. Guest artists with the bands all day on Saturday will include vocalist Barbara Morrisson, pianist and arranger Barb Catlin and drummer Dom Moio. On Sunday, Mingus’ 90th birthday, we will hold a jazz brunch birthday party.
We are looking to Mingus fans from around the world to support these important projects. As a supporter, you’ll receive recognition on our website and Facebook page as well as a variety of fabulous Mingus Project memorabilia. And you’ll know you helped make this ambitious project a phenomenal success!
Packages especially for those of you who can’t join us this year are marked: “Fan Package.”
Your donations are tax-deductible as a contribution to the Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts, a 501(c)3 organization. You will receive a donation letter (your donation less the value of what you receive).