The nimble and expert 7-piece Mingus Dynasty was the first band Sue Mingus organized after Charles Mingus’ death in 1979, collaborating with his own sidemen to honor the life and work of the bassist and composer. Although big bands like the Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey bands had continued to perform after their leader passed on, a similar legacy never existed for smaller ensembles. Because Mingus always said he was first and foremost a composer, and because he left behind over 300 compositions that deserved to be played, a band carrying on his music became a natural, if unanticipated, mission. The first Dynasty bands were expected to include only musicians who had actually performed with Mingus -- except for the bass player of course. Today, four decades later, the rich legacy of Mingus music ignites the bandstand while new generations of musicians add their individual voices and continue to celebrate and explore this rich and varied musical legacy.
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