Charles Mingus (April 22 1922 – January 5 1979) was an American jazz bassist, composer, bandleader, and occasional pianist. He was also known for his activism against racial injustice.
Mingus is highly ranked among the composers and performers of jazz, and he recorded many highly regarded albums. Dozens of musicians passed through his bands and later went on to impressive careers. His tunes—though melodic and distinctive—are not often re-recorded, in part because of their unconventional nature. Mingus was also influential and creative as a band leader, recruiting talented and sometimes little-known artists whom he assembled into unconventional and revealing configurations.