Tucson, AZ---A century after the birth of Charles Mingus, his legacy and influence in the jazz world remains as strong as ever. Two special shows are planned this month to celebrate his 100th birthday at the Century Room, located in the 100-year-old Hotel Congress. Arthur Vint, the Century Room’s founder and music programmer says, “From its inception, Charles Mingus was chosen to be the patron saint of the Century Room. It only seemed fitting that the most important jazz musician to come from Arizona be honored in such a way.” The Mingus Centennial concerts will also act as the official Grand Opening for the club, which has been hosting shows since February, but is now adding a new expanded drink menu, a small bites menu, and will be unveiling the highly anticipated Agave Centerpiece sculptural bottle display.”
Jazz bassist Charles Mingus was born on April 22,1922 in Nogales, AZ at Camp Little, where his father served as a Buffalo Soldier. He remains the singularly most important jazz musician to come out of Arizona, having played with bebop innovators Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell and Max Roach as well as releasing a prolific number of influential albums under his own name. Mingus' contributions to jazz music are too many to list, but his compositions and recordings continue to inspire.
The Mingus tribute will consist of two shows, the first of which will feature the award-winning Tucson Jazz Institute on April 21st. Established in 2008, the Tucson Jazz Institute (TJI) was created to provide opportunities to middle and high school students across Southern Arizona to develop skills in instrumental jazz performance. Proceeds from the concert will go towards the TJI scholarship and travel fund.
The renowned Mingus Dynasty Band will perform the second tribute show, co-presented by the Tucson Jazz Festival on April 22nd. The Mingus Dynasty is a New York City based jazz ensemble formed in 1979, just after the bassist’s death. They are embarking on a tour to celebrate the centennial of Charles Mingus’s birth and will be in Tucson on his actual 100th birthday! The band performing at the Century Room will include trumpeter Jack Walrath and saxophonist Charles McPherson, both of whom recorded and performed extensively with Mingus in the 1960’s and 70’s.
April 28th through May 1st, the Century Room will be the epicenter of the Agave Heritage Festival, hosting events, tastings and parties all accompanied by live music. The main event will be the VIP Agave Fiesta on International Jazz Day, April 30t with Amilcar Guevara and the Tucson Latin Jazz All Stars.
NEW AT THE CENTURY ROOM
The Century Room has expanded their live music offerings to include Thursdays and Sundays, with special “Late Night” shows reminiscent of those in NYC. Presale tickets are not available for Late Night shows, instead there is a modest cover charge at the door. Late-Night sets begin at 9pm. The bar is open daily at 6pm for small bites (beginning on April 21), cocktail service, and wine and mezcal tastings. A new “Dinner and a Show” package is available for all 7pm concerts. Included in the package are confirmed dinner reservations at the Cup Café prior to the selected show as well as reserved seats at the Century Room. Package tickets are subject to availability. Tickets for all concerts and Dinner and a Show package can be purchased at www.hotelcongress.com/centuryroom
MINGUS CELEBRATION AND UPCOMING SHOWS AT THE CENTURY ROOM
Thursday, April 21 – 7pm (doors open at 6pm) – Tucson Jazz Institute Plays Mingus
“Tucson Jazz Institute” makes their debut at the Century Club as student bands join TJI faculty members Scott Black, Brice Winston and John Black for a variety of Mingus arrangements. Tucson Jazz Institute is the premiere, national award-winning jazz music education source for Southern Arizona. TJI’s mission is to create educational and performance opportunities for young musicians to reach their highest potential. Jazz ensembles at TJI are taught by seasoned educators who are also professional musicians with the highest standard of musical excellence and a proven track record of success in developing young talent. Tucson Jazz Institute makes their Century Room debut with a tribute to the genius of Charles Mingus, who would have turned 100 this year. They will perform arrangements of Mingus compositions that spotlight outstanding TJI performers and ensembles, led by John Black, Scott Black and Brice Winston. Ticket revenue will go towards the TJI scholarship and travel fund that supports student’s educational endeavors. $18 advance / $20 day of show
Friday, April 22 – 7pm (doors open at 6pm) and 9pm (doors open at 8:30pm) – Mingus Dynasty featuring Charles McPherson
Mingus Dynasty was founded in 1979 following Mingus’s passing and features musicians that played with the man himself. They are traveling from NYC to Arizona for the dedication of the Mingus Memorial Park in Nogales on April 23rd and will perform in Phoenix at the Nash on April 21st and in Tucson at the Century Room on April 22nd as part of their Southwest Mingus Centennial Tour. The group will feature Jack Walrath and Charles McPherson, both veterans of Mingus’s band, as well as Craig Handy on tenor sax, Theo Hill on piano, Andy McKee on bass and Chris Beck on drums. This show is co-presented by the Tucson Jazz Festival. $35 advance / $40 day of show
Saturday, April 23 – 7pm (doors open at 6pm) and 9pm (doors open at 8:30pm) – Darwin Noguera Afro Cuban Jazz Trio
Chicago based pianist Darwin Noguera has sculpted a formidable name for himself in the world of Latin Jazz, having performed with the likes of Paquito D’Rivera, Miguel Zenon, Giovanni Hidalgo, John Benitez, Candido Camero, and Bobby Sanabria. He has released 3 albums under his name and continues to experiment with new sounds while respecting the tradition. He brings his take on Afro Cuban rhythms to the Century Room in a piano trio format joined by local musicians Mike Levy on bass and Arthur Vint on drums. $15 advance / $18 day of show
Sunday, April 24 – 9pm (doors open at 6pm) – Autumn Dominguez & After Hours Quartet Host Century Room Jazz Jam
Autumn Dominguez has established herself as a strong voice on the alto saxophone and as a consummate jam session host. The Sunday night Century Room jazz jam is home to both professionals and up and coming U of A students who come to sit in after their other gigs to stretch out and have fun. No cover.
Monday, April 25 – 7pm (doors open at 6) – Howe Gelb ~ Just Piano Music
Howe Gelb is no stranger to the Hotel Congress, having performed on the Club Congress stage countless times with his desert rock band Giant Sand. In recent years Howe has turned towards the piano, which was the focus of his recent releases “Future Standards” and “Further Standards.” He brings his piano trio to the Century Room for an intimate concert playing his brand of jazz inspired Americana. Howe Gelb (piano, vocals) Naim Amor (guitar) Thøger Lund (bass) $18 advance / $20 day of show
Thursday, April 28 – 10pm – Lila Downs After Party with Salvador Duran & Friends
Agave Heritage Festival and Pueblos del Maíz are proud to present the official Lila Downs afterparty at the Century Room with a performance by local legend Salvador Duran plus special guests to celebrate the beginning of the 2022 Agave Heritage Festival. Originally from Cananea, Sonora, guitarist, singer and visual artist Salvador Duran has captivated audiences in Tucson since arriving in the early 2000s. His performances feature his unique vocal stylings and sound effects accompanied by his guitar and stomp box percussion. He has collaborated with bands like Calexico, Iron & Wine and Sergio y La Orkesta, and remains a fixture at the Hotel Congress where he performs solo on the patio most Thursdays. Sponsored by Arizona Arts Live, Earth’s Healing. Featured mezcals: Banhez, Siembra Azul, Fortaleza. $10 cover / $5 with Lila Downs ticket stub (tickets available at the door only)
Friday, April 29 – 7pm (doors open at 7pm) – Larry Redhouse Trio
Larry Redhouse is an accomplished jazz pianist, flautist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist who has been an important part of Tucson’s musical fabric for decades. His piano playing features horn-like linear lines and an impeccable sense of implied time and his art form continues to become even more mature and focused. Mr. Redhouse, a member of the Navajo Nation, is also active in Native dance and spirituality. This performance will showcase many of Larry’s fantastic original compositions that share his unique and gifted understanding of life’s song. $15 advance / $18 day of show
Saturday, April 30 – 6pm – Agave Fiesta VIP Borderlands Jazz Concert with Amilcar Guevara Latin Jazz All Stars
Ticket includes choice of agave inspired cocktail or neat mezcal pour (sip it, don’t shoot it!)
Amilcar Guevara Latin Jazz All Stars joins David Suro of Siembre Spirits & Tequila Interchange Project, Pedro Jimenez of Viva Mezcal and Mezonte, Luis Loya of LaMata, Salvador Picazo Chavez of La Luna Mezcal and Gunther Maier of Santo Cuviso for a night of mezcal and jazz symbiosis on International Jazz Day! $40 ticket
Saturday, April 30 – 9pm – Agave Heritage Festival presents Ismael Barajas
Ismael Barajas has long been a mainstay on the Tucson Latin music scene playing flamenco guitar, Latin jazz and salsa. Born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, Barajas grew up listening to his parents singing. Ismael began his formal study and training of the classical guitar at the age of 13. His tutoring in flamenco was continued under Carlos Montoya, Jesus De Jerez, and Eduardo Santiago. Ismael was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Arizona, School of Music. In conjunction with his studies, he began teaching guitar in the Tucson, Arizona, public school system, as well as at the University of Arizona. Ismael has appeared on many radio and television programs throughout the United States and Mexico. He continues to perform in special engagements throughout the southwest, as well as work with artist development at his studio in Tucson, Arizona. $5 cover
Sunday, May 1 – 9pm (doors open at 6pm) – Zona Libre Latin Jazz Band
Come celebrate the successful wrap of the 2022 AHF in style! The Century Room hosts the official Agave Heritage Festival Closing Party, featuring mezcal tastings and live performances by the Zona Libre Latin Jazz Band. Zona Libre is an eclectic suite of musicians with a flair for hip arrangements of contemporary Latino urbano music, and popular Americano led by Hiram Perez. $10 cover / $5 with Agave Heritage Ticket Stub
ABOUT THE CENTURY ROOM
The Century Room at Hotel Congress is located at 311 E Congress Street in Downtown Tucson with its entrance at 5th Ave/Congress St. and is open nightly at 6pm offering live entertainment Thursday through Sundays. Early shows are at 7pm, Late-Nights begin at 9. A primary feature of the Century Room will be the beautiful Agave Centerpiece located in bar area at the front of the space dedicated to the celebration and tasting of the world’s best Mezcal and related Agave spirits, etc. In addition to a small bites menu (coming soon), a broad selection of local and Sonoran wines, locally brewed beer and spirits including Whiskey del Bac, Hotel Congress 100 Vodka (produced by Flying Leap Distillery) and a full list of creative cocktails created by Bar Manager Mike McGill, round out the offerings. The new “Dinner & A Show” package includes reserved seating at Cup Café prior to the show and reserved seats at the Century Room and are available online For reservations and show schedules visit www.hotelcongress.com/centuryroom or www.facebook.com/centuryroomtucson/events.
Call 520-622-8848/toll free at 1-800-722-8848 for more info.