Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major form of musical expression in traditional and popular music. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, complex chords, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in European harmony and African rhythmic rituals.

Charles Mingus, Jr.

Charles Mingus Jr. (April 22, 1922 – January 5, 1979) was an American jazz double bassist, pianist, composer, and bandleader. A major proponent of collective improvisation, he is considered to be one of the greatest jazz musicians and composers in history, with a career spanning three decades and collaborations with other jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Herbie Hancock.

Mingus’s compositions continue to be played by contemporary musicians ranging from the repertory bands Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and Mingus Orchestra, to the high school students who play the charts and compete in the Charles Mingus High School Competition. In 1993, the Library of Congress acquired Mingus’s collected papers—including scores, sound recordings, correspondence and photos—in what they described as “the most important acquisition of a manuscript collection relating to jazz in the Library’s history.”

Support WPKN 89.5 FM

Thanks for reading about jazz and Charles Mingus! Our volunteers will be wild about this fundraiser and we hope you will show your support by donating either by clicking the DONATE

Get a Great Gift with Your Donation!

Your contribution helps WPKN, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Cliff Furnald
Cliff Furnald
Cliff brings music little heard on the radio or the mainstream.

Learn More
Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli
Joseph Celli is an American musician and composer specializing in contemporary and improvised music for oboe and English horn. In addition, he plays the Yamaha WX7 MIDI breath controller, as well as double reed instruments from several Asian cultures.
Learn More
Steve di Costanzo
Steve di Costanzo
WPKN General Manager
Music has always been front and center for me. It’s beyond therapeutic.
Learn More
Rick Petrone
Rick Petrone
Rick Petrone is a bassist who has been active in jazz since the 1960s. Born in Stamford, CT near New York in 1947, he lived in L.A. as a child but has spent most of his life on the East Coast. Read an interview with Rick Petrone.
Learn More
Kevin Gallagher
Kevin Gallagher
WPKN Board of Directors, Long Island Director
Kevin Gallagher likes to dig. Ask him to tell you about his life, and don’t be surprised if he digs up a tale about traveling the world with the Eurythmics or that he’s been digging WPKN since he became a DJ in 1972.
Learn More
Luis Luna
Luis Luna
Luis Luna was born in Quito, Ecuador.

Host of Módulo Lunar // The Lunar Module; a three hour monthly radio program combining new, under the radar, innovative, unconventional and traditional fusions of music from the latin american diaspora.

Learn More
David Golden
David Golden
WPKN Board of Directors Library Director
I showed up at the WPKN studio as a college student and never went away. In the intervening years, I’ve served on various station boards and committees, hosted a bunch of live music, and hopefully kept you company. Bring your favorite mug and hang out.
Learn More
Annette Szczesiul
Annette Szczesiul
What inspires me about ‘PKN is that amidst all the differences, there is a beautiful core sharing values, mutual inspiration, spirit, heart, humor and never-ending goofiness!
Learn More
Del 'In Transition'
Del 'In Transition'
I was the Library Director between 2012 and 2021, and have been dubbed ‘the Anarchivist’ because of my interest in and passion for preserving the future of the WPKN collection.
Learn More
Lisa Sahulka
Lisa Sahulka
WPKN Board of Directors, Treasurer and On-Air Fundraising Director
Lisa is a programmer, board member and on-air fundraising director for WPKN 89.5 FM, named best radio station for music by Connecticut Magazine.
Learn More
Frank Delgado
Frank Delgado
I’ve been collecting music in this genre for more than 50 years, and, I might add, I’m a mambo bailarín. So tune-in & dance with me the next time I’m on the air.

You can learn more by visiting my website.

Learn More
Joe Carter
Joe Carter
Joe Carter is a musician and the Director of the Academic Music Program at Sacred Heart University. You can learn more about Joe by visiting his website.