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Noted jazz bassist Ray Drummond will give a presentation about the musical legacy of Charles Mingus at noon Tuesday, October 24 in room 123 of the Williams Center for the Arts.

Free and open to the public, the talk will the first of many presentations that Drummond will give in the winter and spring as the Alan and Wendy Pesky artist-in-residence for the year. Lunch may be brought or purchased for $3.

Mingus remains one of the towering musical influences in American jazz, growing in significance since his death in 1979 at age 56. Through his many compositions and recordings, as well as his dynamic legacy as a band leader and mentor of younger musicians, the Mingus name is synonymous with musical passion, commitment to vital performance, and integrity of ensemble sound. At the 1997 Grammy Awards ceremony, Mingus posthumously received the NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1993, he became the first African-American to have his works acquired by the Library of Congress. Drummond enjoyed a close personal relationship with Mingus, and Sue Mingus turned to him when she first decided to create a repertory jazz band whose sole purpose was the touring, recording, and regular performing of Mingus’ compositions.

Drummond was born in Massachusetts and relocated to California. While in the San Francisco area, he worked with Bobby Hutcherson, Michael White, Martha Young (Lester Young’s niece), Tom Harrell, and Eddie Marshall. He moved to New York, where he quickly became a first-call bassist. He has played with jazz notables such as Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Woody Shaw, Pharoah Sanders, and the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. Drummond has worked on over 200 recordings, including seven under his own name and three as a co-leader. He is in high demand as a producer. He teaches master classes, seminars, and workshops around the world at places like the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Berklee School of Music, the University of Massachusetts, and the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland.

“Few jazzers know more about the chemistry between sidemen and material than the portly, jovial bassist, who has become one of jazz’ quintessential sidemen,” notes The New York Daily News.

Drummond’s October 24 talk is presented in connection with the performance by the Mingus Big Band the following week, at 8 p.m. Tuesday, October 31 at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Contact the Williams Center at 610-330-5010 for additional information about the Drummond presentation. Tickets for the Mingus Big Band performance cost $20 and can be ordered by calling the Williams Center box office at 610-330-5009.

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