Penn State University: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis to honor jazz genius March 31

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will celebrate the 100th birth year of one of the jazz world’s most explosive musicians.

The live “Charles Mingus Centennial Celebration” will start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31, in Eisenhower Auditorium. Visit Center for the Performing Arts online for more information or to purchase tickets.

Trombonist-composer Vincent Gardner will lead Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in an exploration of works by a man known for his musical genius, high standards and quick temper. The ensemble’s eighth appearance at the center will feature a program of Mingus’ swinging hard bop, Afro-Latin grooves and gospel-blues works.

Tickets are available online at Tickets are also available by phone at 814-863-0255 or in person at Eisenhower Auditorium from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays. A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.

Mingus was a mid-century-era gifted jazz bassist, pianist, composer and bandleader. After he died in 1979, an obituary in The New York Times (NYT) described his style as “technically sophisticated with a blues essence.”

Mingus was more than a musician and composer during the Civil Rights Movement era. He composed commentary with works titled “Meditation on Integration” and “Fables of Faubus,” about the 1950s-era Arkansas governor who called in the National Guard on nine African-American students who tried to attend school.

“In more general musical terms, Mr. Mingus’s very eclecticism helped define his influence, and led to a broad reevaluation of Black musical traditions by younger jazz musicians,” the NYT obituary noted.

Geisinger, Northwest, The Village at Penn State, Designer’s Studio and Kish Bank sponsor the performance. The Robert and Sonia Hufnagel Endowment, Meghan R. Mason Program Endowment and William E. McTurk Endowment provide support.

Safety first

The Center for the Performing Arts has the health and safety of our patrons in mind. Visit COVID-19 Precautions for more information on the center’s safety measures.

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