After skipping 2009, the annual Mingus Awareness Project returns this year in full force. The performance is a benefit to raise funds to fight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a neurological wasting condition known as Lou Gehrig's disease after one of its most famous victims. The great jazz bassist Charles Mingus also died from the disease, as did the mother of Chicago area musicians and project founders Jon and Dan Godston. Their childhood friend, leading Richmond drummer Brian Jones, brought the Mingus festival to Richmond, where it has become a signature musical event. This year's program, which has been blessed by the bassist's widow Sue Mingus, features a first half performance of the Adam Larrabee Trio's interpretation of the seminal Mingus, Ellington and Max Roach album, “Money Jungle.” The second half is a 19-piece big band led by local legend Doug Richards covering a set of great Mingus compositions in addition to arrangements of works by Mingus' idol Duke Ellington and contemporary Thelonious Monk. The Mingus Awareness Project comes to CenterStage on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 and $10 for
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