“Mingus on Mingus” a grandson discovering the truths behind the legend of the grandfather he never knew.
Kevin Ellington Mingus was 3 years old when his grandfather, jazz legend, Charles Mingus passed away. Born in Los Angeles, California in 1976, Kevin grew up distanced from the creative legacy of his grandfather. Kevin started his musical journey at age 10 on guitar switching to double bass a year later, in fact it was not until his early youth that he discovered his grandfather’s passion for the bass.
Kevin attended the University of California, Berkeley furthering his studies in music. While Kevin had a strong upbringing in jazz , it was during his time at UC Berkeley that he became interested in other genres leading to further studies in Argentina during the late 1990s at the Manuel de Falla Music Conservatory where he studied tango, bandoneon and composition with Nestor Marconi.
Also while at Berkeley Kevin made his first steps into the world of film. Fascinated by the disconnect with reality, Kevin started to document on film the happenings on campus with a camera given to him by his Aunt. Kevin’s passion for film continued after moving to Berlin in 2002 where he ventured into a number of cross media projects combining music with theatre and new media and gaining experience in filming and producing documentaries. Also during this period Kevin worked intensively with Croatian filmmaker Sasa Oreskovic in Soundless Fall of the Gravitation and Rio Pekos.
Kevin’s current project is a feature length documentary titled “Mingus on Mingus” a documentary of a grandson discovering the truths behind the legend of the grandfather he never knew. There has been so much written about Charles Mingus and many of these stories have been rather exaggerated during the years. In speaking with Kevin recently he stated “with this film I hope to discover the real Charles Mingus, the man behind the legend”.
The documentary will include many interviews with musicians that knew and worked with Charles including among others Sonny Rollins, Joni Mitchell, Ornette Coleman and Charles McPherson. When asked about their reaction to the project, Kevin stated that everyone is extremely positive about the project and believes that the fact that the documentary is being made by a member of the Mingus family certainly impacted on their reaction. Kevin believes that there is a sense of urgency in the production of the project, with the passing of each year that generation is disappearing; we need to document this as soon as possible.
To this end Kevin’s production company “Orange then blue”(named after the famous composition by Charles) has launched a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter.com to assist in the financing of the project. The project is currently live on Kickstarter and has 19 day to go. If you wish to assist in moving the project forward you can follow the link below and pledge your support.