22nd Annual Festival Celebrates 100th Birthday of the Great Charles Mingus
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, July 01, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Jazz in the Valley (JITV) returns to Poughkeepsie’s Waryas Park on Sunday, August 21, noon to 6:00 pm, with a celebration of the Legacy, History and the Future of Jazz. Presented by TRANSART & Cultural Services, Inc., and led by Guest Curator Craig Harris, the day-long festival celebrates the centennial of bassist/composer/bandleader Charles Mingus (1922-1979) with Harris, Buster Williams, Regina Carter, Camille Thurman, Carla Cook, Michael King and Joaquin Pozo, who, in the spirit of Mingus, are taking the music forward.
Tickets are available now at www.jazzinthevalleyny.org.
For Greer Smith, festival founder, producer and recipient of the Jazz Journalist Association’s 2021 Jazz Hero Award, this 22nd annual festival is a continuation of its highly successful return to live audiences last year in the Valley after a virtual presentation of the festival during the worst of COVID-19. “We pick up where we left off last year, when we presented a triumphant homecoming back to the Valley,” Smith says. “The audience really appreciated hearing live jazz in real time, and the musicians enjoyed playing for enthusiastic fans. This year’s festival will no doubt swing with the same infectious spirit, especially as we celebrate the history, legacy and future of the great Charles Mingus!”
The award-winning trombonist/composer/arranger Craig Harris, who serves as the festival’s Guest Curator, is one of a legion of musicians who are influenced by Mingus and has been a major force in modern music for four decades. With nine releases as a leader, including his latest Managing the Mask, and 39 recordings as a sideman with an eclectic array of musicians including Sun Ra, Abdullah Ibrahim, Cecil Taylor and the hip-hop group, The Roots, Harris spans a wide spectrum of music, including R&B, straight-ahead jazz and the avant-garde. He is a member of Harlem Jazz Boxx, a mobile, jazz/gospel performance consortium, and he composed and performed the score for the critically acclaimed Oscar-nominated motion picture, Judas and the Black Messiah.
For Harris, Mingus remains a touchstone for his creativity. “Mingus has always inspired me as a musician-composer; the way he balances concept and content … [and the] sacred space he creates where improvisation and composition intersect, is a major influence on my own work,” Harris says.” Mingus also adds another factor to the balance of content and concept, which is consciousness. Mingus’ “Don’t Let It Happen Here,” “Meditation on Integration,” “Fables of Faubus,” plus others are works that deal with social issues and injustice. Using music to promote social justice is ingrained in every breath I take, so the triple C factor – Content, Concept and Consciousness – will be highly celebrated in our centennial salute of Charles Mingus. Joining me in this celebration are people who bring these same elements – Content, Concept and Consciousness – to their work.”
Discounted early bird tickets are $45 through August 1. Afterward, general admission is $55, and $65 at the gate. The cost for students with valid ID is $20 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased online through the festival’s website (jazzinthevalleyny.org). For group ticket sales, directions and more information about Jazz in the Valley, contact TRANSART at [email protected], (845) 384-6350, or log on to www.jazzinthevalleyny.org.
TRANSART & Cultural Services, Inc. is a Kingston, NY-based non-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the art, history and popular culture of people of African ancestry. The festival’s origins go back to an afternoon of music in the year 2000, when TRANSART received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts to commission Ahmad Jamal to write an original composition for the organization. Jamal composed “Picture Perfect,” inspired by the scenic beauty of the Hudson Valley, which he played in concert. In addition to the music, JITV also features films and other programs designed to increase dialogue dealing with jazz music, the musicians and the audience. The festival also produces a jazz program hosted by Sharif Abdus Salaam on WKNY, 107.9 FM and 1490 AM, www.radiokingston.org Wednesdays at 7pm.
Jazz in the Valley is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support from the New York State Legislature. Support also comes from funding through Dutchess Tourism, Inc. administered by Arts Mid-Hudson. Additional support and resources are provided by the City of Poughkeepsie.
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