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Charles Mingus High School Competition & Festival: February 12th 15th 2016

On Friday February 12th to Sunday February 15th, 2016, high school students from across the US celebrate the music of the great jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus (1922-1979), as part of the 8th Annual Charles Mingus High School Competition & Festival taking place at Manhattan School of Music and at the Jazz Standard club in midtown Manhattan.

The event is organized and presented by Manhattan School of Music and Justin DiCioccio, Associate Dean/ Chair of the School's Jazz Arts Program, and by Sue Mingus and Let My Children Hear Music/ The Charles Mingus Institute.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS FROM ACROSS THE US

The 12 finalists, six combos and six big bands taking part in this year's festival and competition are from California, Washington State, Oregon, Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts (list of schools below).

"Charles Mingus is one of the most important figures in 20th-century American music, an important link in the lineage of jazz composition that goes back to Jelly Roll Morton" says Justin DiCioccio. "He was a pioneering jazz composer, virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist and bandleader who wrote in so many different styles, with changing time signatures, meters, and advanced techniques that are very important for students to understand."

"Charles' music came out of church and was drenched in the blues, " says Sue Mingus, who formed the first Mingus repertory group The Mingus Dynasty, in 1979, and has overseen the performance and publishing of Mingus music ever since.

Mingus's compositions which, along with his scores, correspondence, original manuscripts, and more, were acquired by the Library of Congress in 1993 are kept alive today on stages around the world and are frequently heard on screens big and small: in films by directors such as Spike Lee and Martin Scorcese and in television programs such as Orange is the New Black and Law & Order. His compositions have been covered by many artists including Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, Keith Richards, and Henry Rollins.

DETAILS ABOUT THE FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION

On Saturday, February 13th, students will explore aspects of Mingus's music via clinics, workshops, lectures, and films at Manhattan School of Music on 122nd Street at Broadway. The public is welcome to attend the film screening and performance by the Mingus Dynasty. The day will conclude with students who are finalists performing in a "Mingus jam session".

The general public may attend the Competition's adjudication a day of concert performances that takes place on Sunday, February 14th in Borden Auditorium at Manhattan School of Music . That evening outstanding soloists from the competition will be invited to sit in with The Mingus Big Band, who will perform all weekend at the Jazz Standard club on 116 East 27th Street, between Park and Lexington.

"The festival gives outstanding high school students around the country a chance to perform on their advanced level and enriches their school programs, " says Justin DiCioccio. "It's great for students to be challenged by this music and to form networks with other outstanding jazz musicians. For the serious student, these are going to be their peers for the rest of their lives."

For a full schedule of events, visit: msmnyc.edu/Mingus

For further information: cfreitag@msmnyc.edu

FESTIVAL AND COMPETITION HIGHLIGHTS
FRIDAY, FEB 12-SUNDAY, FEB 14

MINGUS BIG BAND at Jazz Standard
116 E. 27th Street between Park & Lexington
http://jazzstandard.com
Sets at 7:30pm & 9:30pm
Fri/Sat: $30/$15 students
Sunday: $25/$12.50 students

SATURDAY, FEB 13

FULL DAY OF CLINICS, MASTER CLASSES, AND JAMS for student finalists.
Film clips and performance by Mingus Dynasty free and open to the public.
Manhattan School of Music
122nd Street and Broadway
http://www.msmnyc.edu

SUNDAY, FEB 14

Mingus High School COMPETITION followed by a performance by
the MSM Mingus Ensemble and Awards Ceremony
Manhattan School of Music
122nd Street at Broadway
Free and open to the public
MONDAY, FEB 15

MINGUS ORCHESTRA
Jazz Standard
116 E. 27th Street between Park & Lexington
Sets at 7:30 & 9:30
$25/$12.50 students

FINALISTS OF THE CHARLES MINGUS HIGH SCHOOL COMPETITION & FESTIVAL:

BIG BAND CATEGORY

Esperanza High School Jazz I Ensemble, Anaheim, CA. Band Director: Bradley Davis

Lexington High School Jazz Ensemble, Lexington, MA. Band Director: Patrick Donaher

The Rivers Big Band, The Rivers School, Weston, MA. Band Director: Philippe Crettien

COMBO CATEGORY

Battle Ground High School Jazz Combo, Battle Ground, WA. Band Director: Greg McKelvey

Lexington High School Jazz Combo, Lexington, MA. Band Director: Patrick Donaher

Rio Americano High School Jazz Combo, Sacramento, CA. Band Directors: Josh Murray & Max Kiesner

BIG BAND CATEGORY- Specialized Schools and Programs

Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra, New York, NY. Band Director: Vincent Gardner

Jazz House Big Band, Jazz House Kids. Montclair, NJ. Band Director: Julius Tolentino

Tulsa Jam'bassadors, Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Tulsa, OK. Band Director: Doug Styers

COMBO CATEGORY - Specialized Schools and Program

The Builders, Alan Jones Academy of Music, Portland, OR. Band Director: Alan Jones

Jazz Academy Blakey Ensemble, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY. Band Director: Jerome Jennings

Jazz House Organ Messengers, Jazz House Kids, Montclair, NJ. Band Director: Julius Tolentino

ABOUT THE MINGUS BIG BAND

Charles Mingus's compositions retain the soulful feel of gospel music and the blues while containing elements of free jazz, bop and classical music. The 14-piece Mingus Big Band celebrates Mingus, under the artistic direction of Sue Mingus. The Mingus Big Band plays regularly at the Jazz Standard in New York City and tours extensively in the United States and abroad; it has 11 recordings, six of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards.

ABOUT "LET MY CHILDREN HEAR MUSIC"/ THE CHARLES MINGUS INSTITUTE:

Founded in 1986 by Sue Mingus, "Let My Children Hear Music" is devoted to promoting the legacy of composer Charles Mingus through performance, education, publishing and archives. For more information visit: mingusmingusmingus.com

About MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Founded as a settlement music school by Janet Daniels Schenck in 1918, today Manhattan School of Music is recognized for its 950 superbly talented undergraduate and graduate students who come from more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 states; a world-renowned artist-teacher faculty; and innovative curricula. The School is dedicated to the personal, artistic, and intellectual development of aspiring musicians, from its Precollege students through those pursuing postgraduate studies.

Offering both classical and jazz training and, beginning in fall 2016, a Bachelor's degree program in musical theater MSM grants Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees, as well as the Professional Studies Certificate and Artist Diploma. Additionally, true to MSM's origins as a music school for children, the Precollege program continues to offer superior music instruction to young musicians between the ages of five and 18. The School also serves some 2, 000 New York City schoolchildren through its Arts-in-Education Program, and another 2, 000 students through its critically acclaimed Distance Learning Program.



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