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Directed by Don McGlynn

United States 1997 78 mins. In English

“I am Charles Mingus, half black man, half yellow man. . . I play jazz, I am a Negro,” declares the volatile, uncompromising genius at the start of McGlynn’s riveting look at the tortured musical life of the great composer and bass player. Over the course of nine years of digging, McGlynn unearthed a wealth of rare performance clips, radio broadcasts, photographs, and interviews to fashion an indelible portrait of an artist of unparalleled talent and complex, paradoxical temperament.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: Reel Music 35



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.