15 piece Mingus Big Band with Sue Mingus in NYC, 2008

The Kennedy Center celebrates jazz icon and social activist Charles Mingus at 100 in “Let My Children Hear Mingus” – October 14 at 9 pm

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PBS Announces  Premiere Date for NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER, a Multi-Year Partnership with the Kennedy Center Highlighting the Contributions of Artistic Changemakers and Their Continued Impact on Contemporary Artists

Showcasing a Diversity of Art Forms and Genres, the Inaugural Season of New Performing Arts Series Premieres Friday, Oct. 14, 9 p.m.

PBS set a date for the upcoming premiere of NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER, the public broadcaster’s recently announced collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to spotlight critical contributions to the arts that continue to inspire contemporary artists. Over the next three years,

musician Chales McPherson, elbows on table with saxaphone in front of him
Charles McPherson

this primetime series of performance specials will explore the enduring influence of artistic changemakers across art forms, genres, and backgrounds. The first five-episode season of NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER will premiere with “Let My Children Hear Mingus” on Friday, Oct. 14, at 9 p.m. on PBS,, and the PBS Video app.

Captured to match the unique style of the artists, each episode of NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER will weave together performances filmed live at the Kennedy Center with intimate backstage moments and first-person commentary. The debut episode, “Let My Children Hear Mingus,” celebrates the legacy of composer, bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus (1922-1979), a seminal figure in American culture — a leader who spent his life pushing against musical norms and social injustice — during the centennial anniversary of Mingus’ birth.

Anchored by a performance from the Mingus Big Band in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, “Let My Children Hear Mingus” showcases performances and interviews with legendary musicians, record producers, historians and activists across generations, including Charles McPherson, Jason Moran, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Robert Glasper, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Keki Mingus and Christian McBride. These artists share their personal experiences playing with Mingus and growing up with his music. Together, through the lens of music and history, NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER offers a picture of Mingus’ outsized personality, unique style and tender heart. This portrait of the entire man gives context to his music and a deeper understanding of how he fused classical styles of jazz with the gospel and world music, pushed musical and cultural boundaries, and influenced future generations of artists in the worlds of contemporary jazz, R&B, soul and beyond. In the words of James Newton, Mingus’ music is “art created at the edge of a cliff.”