Charles Mingus

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Date of Birth April 22, 1922
Place of Birth Nogales, Arizona
Date of Death Jan 5, 1979 (56)
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Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz double bassist, pianist, composer and bandleader. A major proponent of collective improvisation, he is considered to be one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in history, with a career spanning three decades and collaborations with other jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Dannie Richmond, and Herbie Hancock. Mingus' compositions continue to be played by contemporary musicians ranging from the repertory bands Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and Mingus Orchestra, to the high school students who play the charts and compete in the Charles Mingus High School Competition. In 1993, the Library of Congress acquired Mingus's collected papers—including scores, sound recordings, correspondence and photos—in what they described as "the most important acquisition of a manuscript collection relating to jazz in the Library's history".

Birth name: Charles Mingus Jr.
Born: April 22, 1922, Nogales, Arizona, U.S.
Origin: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died: January 5, 1979, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Genres: Jazz, hard bop, bebop, avant-garde jazz, post-bop, Third Stream, orchestral jazz, free jazz
Occupation(s): Musician, composer, bandleader
Instruments: Double bass, piano, cello
Years active: 1943–1979
Labels: Atlantic, Candid, Columbia, Debut, Impulse, Mercury, United Artists
Associated acts: Pepper Adams, Jaki Byard, Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Knepper, Joni Mitchell, Charlie Parker, Don Pullen, Dannie Richmond, Max Roach, Jack Walrath
IMDb: Charles Mingus's IMDb
iTunes: Charles Mingus's iTunes

About Charles Mingus

Jazz double bassist and composer who was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in 1971 for his influence on and development of jazz.

Before Fame

His favorite instrument to play while he was growing up was the cello.


He released over forty albums as a bandleader before his death, including Pithecanthropus Erectus in 1956.

Family Life

He married Sue Graham Ungaro.


He considered Duke Ellington to be one of his greatest influences.

Information related to Charles Mingus

  • Charles Mingus Category
  • Progressive big band bandleaders
  • Bebop double-bassists
  • Post-bop double-bassists
  • Avant-garde jazz double-bassists
  • Candid Records artists
  • Musicians from Arizona
  • 20th-century jazz composers
  • 20th-century double-bassists
  • Savoy Records artists
  • University at Buffalo faculty
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners
  • Big band bandleaders
  • American jazz double-bassists
  • American jazz bandleaders
  • Mercury Records artists
  • African-American people
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Latest information about Charles Mingus updated on October 28, 2020.

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