"I am Charles Mingus. Half-black man, yellow man. Half-yellow...not even yellow, not even white enough to pass for nothing but black, and not too light to be called white. I claim that I am a negro...Charles Mingus is a musician, mongrel musician who plays beautiful, who plays ugly, who plays lovely, who plays masculine, who plays feminine, who plays music, who plays all sounds; loud, soft, unheard sounds. Sounds, sounds, sounds, solid sounds, sounds, sounds...a musician just loves to play with sound."This is Charles Mingus in his own words. Charles Mingus, born in Nogales, Arizona on April 22, 1922, was a virtuoso jazz bassist, composer, band leader, occasional pianist, and civil rights activist. He died January 5, 1979 in Cuernavaca, Mexico of Lou Gehrig’s disease.