charles mingus Project

Short Bio - Concordia University

Charles Mingus Projects:

Charles Mingus: More than a Fake Book Published by Jazz Workshop, Inc., the Fake Book offers 55 compositions, original scores, Mingus commentary, photographs, and musical analyses by Andrew Homzy.

Charles Mingus Epitaph:

Article en Español – Epitáfio (composição de Charles Mingus)

Article in Swedish – “Musik för min gravsten”
Radiojazzgruppen med solister under ledning av Andrew Homzy
Gastsolist: Rolf Ericson

Jazz Times Magazine - Charles Mingus:

Epitaph Charles Mingus:

a wonderful documentary by Ger Poppelaars -Featuring Andrew’s dear friend, Sue Mingus and colleague, Gunther Schuller

The Charles Mingus collection:

which holds approximately 15,000 items, was the institution’s first acquisition of a jazz composer’s works and personal papers.
It was also the first multi-format jazz collection processed by the Library of Congress Music Division.
The purchase of this collection was celebrated by a press conference and lecture on June 1, 1993 by Sue Mingus and Homzy. The event culminated three days later with a performance by the Mingus Dynasty hosted by the Music Division.

Charles Mingus collection, Library of Congress

Inspired by an upcoming gift of six framed music manuscripts which hung on the walls of Sue Mingus’s home, staff are now revisiting this extraordinary collection for additional conservation. Researchers may also appreciate complementary material pertaining to Charles Mingus found within the processed papers of his contemporaries, Eric Dolphy and Max Roach.


Tonight, March 3rd, 2014, at Jazz Standard:

“Noonlight”, the world premiere of a newly discovered Charles Mingus composition will be performed by the Mingus Big Band – reconstructed and arranged by Andrew Homzy !

MARCH 3, 2014

We’re thrilled to be home to the premiere of Noonlight – a new Mingus composition! Musicologist Andrew Homzy, who originally catalogued the Mingus Collection (during which he discovered and pieced together Mingus’s magnum opus, the three-hour “Epitaph” suite) found this tune among Mingus’s papers and recently made an arrangement for the Mingus Big Band. Our acclaimed “Mingus Monday” residency resumes tonight with two incendiary sets by the GRAMMY Award–winning Mingus Big Band, playing the compositions of its namesake, jazz legend Charles Mingus (1922–1979).

Professor Homzy just returned from New York where he directed the Charles Mingus Big Band CMBB) in a performance of his arrangement of “Noonlight”. He recalled: “It was quite exciting to bring this unknown work to life in front of a packed house at one of New York’s best jazz clubs, The Jazz Standard last Monday. I’ve been deeply involved with Mingus’ music for a long time and when I catalogued all of his works, I found many pages of musical exercises, sketches, themes and fragments of pieces amongst the manuscripts. One of them was a complete melody with chord symbols and a few measures of counterpoint. The only indication of instruments were trombone and alto sax. This makes me think it was from 1957, when Mingus recorded his seminal albums, “The Clown” and Tonight At Noon” for Atlantic Records. Homzy reconstructed the piece, took a few editorial decisions and arranged it for the CMBB using computer notation software (Finale). From his score, he extracted a synthesized recording and played the theme for Sue Mingus, the composers widow. “Sue loved the piece, named it and began writing words to it’s catchy melody.” She then invited Homzy to direct it’s world premiere at the Jazz Standard on March 3, 2014.

The CMBB was excited and supportive in receiving both “Noonlight” and Homzy. Featuring some of the best jazz musicians in New York – The CMBB plays regularly and only plays Mingus music. Out of their ten CDs, six received Grammy nominations and the album Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard won a Grammy in 2011 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

According to Homzy: “The CMBB chewed-up my arrangement and delivered an exciting performance which was informed by their long experience of playing Mingus masterpieces. They knew exactly how to interpret my score.”

Homzy, who is Professor Emeritus at Concordia University, chose to take early retirement in Nanaimo in 2009. He became deeply involved in the community and is currently President of both the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music and the Protection Island Neighbourhood Association. Professor Homzy has an international profile as a professional musician, composer and educator. When asked about his influences, Homzy said: “I draw inspiration from classical music and jazz – and from great popular musicians such as Stevie Wonder and the Beatles. I am undoubtably a 21st century musician listens and thinks critically. When I teach, I try to instil the pursuit of excellence in my students.