The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University

Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus

A Book Talk by Krin Gabbard and Jazz Performance by the Mingus Trio with Members of the Mingus Dynasty
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

*View images and video of this event*

Author Krin Gabbard sets aside the myth-making around bassist Charles Mingus to argue that he created a unique language of emotions—and not just in music. After exploring the most important events in Mingus’s life, Gabbard’s book takes a careful look at Mingus as a writer as well as a composer and musician. Classically trained and of mixed race, he was an outspoken innovator on his instrument as well as a bandleader, composer, producer, and record-label owner. His autobiography, Beneath the Underdog, shaped the image of Mingus as a wild man, an idiosyncratic musical genius with a penchant for skirt-chasing and violent outbursts—but also reveals that he was a hopeless romantic. Gabbard digs into how and why Mingus chose to do so much self-analysis, how he worked to craft his racial identity in a world that saw him simply as “black,” and how his mental and physical health problems shaped his career. This talk and performance will be of interest to anyone who cares about jazz, African American history, and the artist’s life.

Krin Gabbard retired after thirty-three years of teaching at Stony Brook University, and he now teaches in the jazz studies program at Columbia University. His previous books include Hotter than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture and Jammin’ at the Margins: Jazz and the American Cinema.

The Mingus Trio:

Boris Koslov is a bassist, composer and arranger who has won two Grammy awards. He has been on New York and international jazz scene for the past 20 years. Currently serving as a Bassist, Arranger and Musical Director for Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty and The Orchestra, as well as leading his own projects. He has also been a first-call bassist for such important jazz acts as Michael Brecker, John Blake, Ray Barretto's 'New World Spirit', Lew Tabackin, David Kikoski, Alex Sipiagin, Jean -Michel Pilc and many others. Kozlov is on more than160 albums. He also performs solo bass and teaches master classes around the world following the release of his acoustic solo album "Double Standard".

Alex Foster is currently a member of the Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty and Mingus Orchestra. He is also a member of the "Saturday Night Live” house band. Foster has performed and recorded with Duke Ellington, Bill Evans , Chico Hamilton, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley,Charles Mingus, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Miles Davis ,Gil Evans, Elvin Jones ,McCoy Tyner, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Jaco Pastorius, John Lewis, Dave Holland, Thad Johns /Mel Lewis, Chi and The Village People.  He has released several recordings as a leader, the most recent being "Alex Fosters Condition" on Lionboy Records.

Freddie Bryant is in demand in the New York jazz and Brazilian scenes, where he has worked with Elaine Elias, Tom Harrell and many others. He currently is a member of Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet, the Mingus Orchestra, and he leads his own groups, Trio del Sol and Kaleidoscope. Bryant has seven CDs as a leader: Dreamscape: Solo, Duo, Trio featuring Chris Potter and Scott Colley (GJKSounds), Live Grooves…Epic Tales with his band Kaleidoscope (HiPNOTIC records) Trio del Sol (Twinz Records); Brazilian Rosewood, Boogaloo Brasileiro, Live at Smoke (Fresh Sound Records); and Take Your Dance into Battle(Jazz City Spirit). Bryant has served on the faculties of Berklee College of Music and Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen, Holland.

This event runs from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Buell Hall, Columbia University Morningside Heights Campus
Event Cost: 
Free and open to the public, but you must RSVP to for this event