Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble Celebrates 101 Years Of Mingus

bc jazz ensemble

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Bakersfield College's Performing Arts Department and Jazz Studies program are set to present Mingus 101, a one-night-only performance by the BC Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos on Monday, April 24 at 7:00 PM. The concert will feature student ensembles led by Jazz Studies director and Performing Arts Department Chair Kris Tiner celebrating the 101st birthday of jazz legend Charles Mingus, in addition to original student compositions.

One of the most important figures in twentieth-century American music, Charles Mingus was a virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader and composer. Often called the “heir of Duke Ellington,” Mingus's works range from genre-defying compositions for small groups to brilliant big-band explorations. The DownBeat award-winning BC Jazz Combos will open the concert with performances of new student compositions, followed by the BC Jazz Ensemble playing Mingus classics along with rarely played works, including tributes that he penned for his musical heroes Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Oscar Pettiford, and Charlie Parker.

“Charles Mingus's music has always been a staple of our concert repertoire.” says Tiner. “This semester's ensemble is one of the largest and most advanced we've ever put together, which gives us the opportunity to play some of the more challenging arrangements where Mingus is exploring his own roots and influences - everything from blues to New Orleans jazz, swing, bebop, gospel, and the avant-garde.”

Active since the early 1960s, the Bakersfield College Jazz Ensemble is one of the oldest collegiate groups of its kind. The ensemble focuses on the big band music tradition, while students in the new BC Jazz Combos program are encouraged to develop, perform, and record their own original compositions.

Admission for the concert is $12 for general admission and $8 for students, staff, and seniors. For more information or to request accommodations call (661) 395-4313 or visit