The Santa Cruz Advocates for the Arts (SCAA) will hold a day-long tribute to jazz great Charles Mingus with the Charles Mingus Hometown Music Festival on April 20, 2013. Mingus was born on April 22, 1922 at Camp Little in Nogales. The festival will take place at the Sunrise Bank complex, across from the former entrance to the all-black Army camp where Mingus' father was stationed. At that entrance at Bejarano and Western, the SCAA and the City of Nogales are building the Mingus Memorial Park which is set to open in April 2014.
The music festival is free and open to the public. There will be vendors with food and drink, and a beer garden. Concertgoers are invited to bring chairs and blankets to sit on. The festival will open with Mariachi Apache, an award-winning band from Nogales High School. Tucson's all-city, national award-winning big band, the Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band will perform music by Mingus arranged by last year's guest artist Sy Johnson. They will perform with Charles McPherson who performed with Mingus from 1962 to 1974. Also on the bill is Nogales native Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta, Heather "Lil Mama" Hardy Blues Band from New York City and Tucson, and Meztizzo Jazz with Victor Linares from Nogales, Sonora.
The festival is made possible by a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America Fast-Track Grant and by Port Devanning Services in Nogales AZ, which funded the match for the grant. The original "Jazz on the Border: The Mingus Project," was a program of the Tucson Jazz Society and the Nogales-Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce and was funded through a Collaborative Initiative Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and ACA and was held 20 year ago, in 1993.
A concert will also be held in Tucson on Sunday, April 21, at 2 p.m. at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 West Speedway Blvd. Charles McPherson will perform music by Mingus and other jazz greats with the Jeff Haskell Trio in a concert sponsored by the Tucson Jazz Society. Tickets are $25 and $30 in advance and can be ordered on-line at www.tucsonjazz.org.