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Elvis Costello Conducts Mingus Orchestra

After excursions into classical music with the Brodsky Quartet and Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, Elvis Costello (pictured left) is apparently ready to try his hand at jazz. The English rock maestro will kick off his year as artist-in-residence at UCLA Live by conducting the Charles Mingus Orchestra in both Mingus compositions and new arrangements of Costello songs in two concerts on Sept. 27 and 28 at UCLA’s Royce Hall.

The Sept. 27 concert was added after the first concert sold out almost immediately, as audiences were apparently intrigued by the idea of two great iconoclasts coming together, one on stage, one in musical memory. The Mingus Orchestra is one of the groups established by Charles’ widow Sue with a mission to ensure that his music remains a vital part of the repertoire, while inspiring adventurous composition and timbral creativity.

UCLA Live’s artist-in-residence program gives artists unusual freedom to express, explore and expand their art, and emphasizes innovation and experimentation. Costello is the first artist-in-residence at UCLA Live.

Tickets for the Sept. 27 performance can be ordered at any Ticketmaster outlet, online at, or by phone at (310) 825-2101.

Originally Published