Charles Mingus, Nice Jazz Festival, July 1977.

The only time I saw Mingus, 18 months before his death. When I saw him, I didn’t get his music at all: as a teenager into rock, it didn’t make sense to me.

Now, Mingus is one of my favourite artists. A genius. I just wish I had appreciated what I was privileged enough to see.

Nice 77 2-23

Nice 77 2-24


3 thoughts on “Charles Mingus, Nice Jazz Festival, July 1977.

  1. Aram

    Patrick, During these years (75-79) i had a summer job as a stage and road manger for Festival Productions which produced the Nice Jazz Festival, among other things.
    This was probably taken on my stage in the Olive Grove. Mingus was incredible. I will never forget those performances. It was a night to remember. I was barely 17 and like you I was clueless about Jazz and Jazz musicians. I love the music today and feel that I walked among giants. I would be very interested to see more of these.

    1. patrickhadfield Post author


      Thanks for your comment!

      I was only 17 when I saw Mingus play, and not really into jazz that much. He seemed to spend half the set ranting against the audience for being white. I didn’t really get it…

      Now, I am a huge fan of Mingus work, and feel privileged to have been able to see him. I just wish I had appreciated it at the time!

      1. Aram Gerstein

        Hi Patrick, Thanks for the reply. Yes, you remember correctly. Mingus was very unhappy with the behavior of the audience. Specifically the use of tape recorders. I had to act as interpreter for Mingus and the band and audience members. But I didn’t translate when he threatened to have them killed with an ice pick to the heart… (not something I will ever forget) I too was clueless as to the significance of what I was experiencing. The music is essential to me today. I would love to see more photos from that festival if you have them. Perhaps you even have one of me in the background. Thanks again, Aram Gerstein

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