REGARDING THE ESTATE OF MY GRANDFATHER CHARLES MINGUS
I have never had access to or financial benefit from the Estate of Charles Mingus. Throughout the years, I have made many attempts to forge a connection. All have been rejected.
The love and joy with which Charles has been presented to the world was central in my understanding of him. However, his image and memory have been closely guarded and controlled. One voice cannot define the legacy of a man who touched millions.
Feeling resistance to reach into this side of my heritage led me to discover a better way of understanding my grandfather and my own lineage. This belief is realized in this documentary, collecting different perspectives that all together shape a more complex and genuine figure of Charles Mingus as a man and as an artist.
While the lack of support from the Mingus Estate is disheartening, the warmth and encouragement I receive from Charles’ children and the jazz community is what makes this journey so special. Their faces, voices and all the intangible power of what they share are the greater part of the fabric I am weaving into my story. The story of jazz, Charles and me.
Kevin Ellington Mingus