Blues and Roots Ensemble - The Music of Charles Mingus

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Last Show: Wednesday 23 rd February 2022

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Blues and Roots Ensemble is a diverse 9-piece band dedicated to sharing the music of the great bassist/bandleader - Charles Mingus. Featuring musicians from South Africa, Sicily, Bulgaria and Cuba - the group performs creative arrangements of Mingus classics, through soulful ballads, Latin American grooves and bluesy improvisations. 

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"Blues and Roots Ensemble did a service to the spirit of the larger than life legend, Charles Mingus; not just playing his music, but portraying the story of an activist and trailblazer [...] handling the complexities of the bass-playing genius with a dapper swagger."

Jazz Standard

Led by double bassist Ed Babar, Blues and Roots Ensemble specialises in playing music by the great bandleader/composer, Charles Mingus. 

With performers ranging from South Africa to Sicily, Bulgaria, Australia and Cuba - the ensemble prides itself on its energy and audience interaction during concerts - showcasing both Mingus' classic, popular compositions as well as his lesser known works.

As well as working as a popular performing band, Blues and Roots Ensemble is also a registered charity that is active in promoting jazz and creative music education to students of all ages, abilities, ethnicities and social backgrounds.

The band is looking forward to a return to Pizza Express in the first of a series of concerts to mark the centenary year anniversary of Mingus' birth.

Band Lineup

Ed Babar (director/double bass)
George Millard (sax/bass clarinet)
David Lalljee (trombone)
Frances Leith (french horn)
Victor Hechavarria (trumpet)
Pete Letanka (piano)
Lilia Ioncheva (percussion)
Flavio Li Vigni (drums)
Tara Minton (vocals)