NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER: Let My Children Hear Mingus
Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 at 10 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m. on KPBS 2 / On demand now with KPBS Passport!
The Kennedy Center celebrates jazz icon and social activist Charles Mingus at 100. Through performances and conversations, we explore how his outsized personality and inimitable style pushed boundaries and paved the way for future generations.
Outspoken. Wild. Caring. Valiant. Courageous. Profound. There was no one like Charles Mingus. As a seminal figure in American culture–a leader who spent his life pushing against musical norms and social injustice, the Kennedy Center celebrates his legacy on the anniversary year of his 100th birthday. Anchored by a performance featuring the Mingus Big Band in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, "Let My Children Hear Mingus" features performances from and interviews with legendary musicians, record producers, historians, and activists across generations including Charles McPherson, Jason Moran, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Robert Glasper, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Keki Mingus and Christian McBride.
These artists share their personal experiences playing with Mingus and growing up with his music. Together, through the lens of music and history, we get a picture of Mingus’ outsized personality, unique style, and tender heart. This portrait of the entire man gives context to his music and a deeper understanding of how Mingus fused classical styles of jazz with the gospel and world music, pushed musical and cultural boundaries, and influenced future generations of artists in the worlds of contemporary jazz, R&B, soul, and beyond. In the words of James Newton, Mingus' music is “art created at the edge of a cliff.”
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About The Series:
NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER, a new primetime series from The Kennedy Center and PBS spotlights cultural leaders from the worlds of hip hop, jazz, folk, comedy, modern dance, and more. Captured to match the unique style of the artists, each episode weaves together performances filmed live at the Center with intimate off-stage moments to contextualize their significance and impact. Reflecting the diversity of today’s performing arts in America and featuring a dynamic mix of rising stars and renowned artists, the series explores the enduring influence of artistic changemakers such as The Roots, Charles Mingus and Joni Mitchell, through the eyes of the artists they helped inspire.