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Mingus Awareness Project
ALS Benefit Concert
Sun, Feb 5 @ 7:30pm
$30 general admission, $20 students
click here for tickets

Bassist/composer Charles Mingus, one of the titans of jazz, died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) on January 5, 1979.  At the time, there was no cure for ALS.  Today, forty years later, there is still no cure.

The Mingus Awareness Project is a series of concerts that benefits organizations that provide support for individuals who have ALS as well as their families.  More than a dozen Mingus Awareness Project concerts have happened in Chicago, Illinois and Richmond, Virginia. 

Beyond supporting those stricken with ALS, MAP concerts also provide opportunities for audiences and performers to celebrate the music of Charles Mingus, music composed by artists who worked with Mingus, as well as music by composers who perform during MAP concerts.

Since 2007, drummer/composer Brian Jones has been presenting Mingus Awareness Project concerts in Richmond. 

The 2023 performance will feature Adam Hopkins' Schoolwork, Michael Hawkins and the Brotherhood, and The Doug Richards Orchestra.

We invite you to join us in support for the Mingus Awareness Project by donating to the ALS Association!  More information on the fundraiser and the Association can be found here:

*All proceeds from this concert will be donated to the ALS Association.*

click here for tickets

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Michael Hawkins and the Brotherhood

Growing up in Alexandria Virginia, Michael Hawkins became influenced by the vibrant music scene. Local musicians would play at his neighborhoods recreation centers and parks on a regular basis it was during this time where Michael developed a love for the bass guitar. Later, Michael joined his school band where he learned to play the trumpet. After switching to Trombone, he finally settled on the bass guitar at the age of  fourteen.

At fifteen he began to work professionally, and by sixteen he was leading his own band which performed regularly in the Washington D.C area. Michael completed his high school  education as a much lauded and honored musician, and after a number of years working  professionally, he received a scholarship to attend Virginia State University to study music in which  Michael graduated in 1997. In 1998, Michael moved to New York where he attended Queens  College, graduating in 2000 with a Masters degree in Jazz Studies. 

During his time in New York, Michael worked with Jazz legends like saxophonists Jimmy Heath, Eric  Alexander, Gary Bartz, Donald Harrison and ; pianists Bruce Barth, Eric Reed, Mulgrew Miller, Cyrus  Chestnut, John Hicks; vocalists Vanessa Rubin, Leon Thomas, Isaac Hayes, Carla Cook; vibraharpist Stefon Harris; guitarist Mark Whitfield, Mark Elf and Russell Malone; Drummers Carl Allen, Ralph  Peterson, Cindy Blackmon and the Trombone and Seashells of Steve Turre. Michael has also shared  the stage with the legendary R&B groups like the “The Main Ingredient”. In the world of Gospel  Music Michael has shared his talents with the legendary artists Twinkie Clark and Melvin Crispell.  The distinctive sound of Michael’s bass can be heard on Cyrus Chestnut’s Warner Jazz, 2003  release, “You Are  My Sunshine” and is featured on T. A. Dorsey’s, “Precious Lord”.                                      

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photo by Peter McElhinney

Doug Richards Orchestra

Composer/Arranger Doug Richards is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Music, Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1997 he received the University's Outstanding Teaching Award. His former students have performed and recorded with many of the world’s leading jazz organizations including the Count Basie Orchestra, the Ray Charles Orchestra, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, as well as with groups led by such major figures as Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Dave Douglas and many others. Richards joined the VCU faculty in 1979, founding its Jazz Studies program in 1980. He was also the founder and musical director of the Great American Music Ensemble, one of the leading professional repertory jazz orchestras in the nation. GAME performed at the Smithsonian Institution Jazz Festival, the International Duke Ellington Society Annual Convention, the National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting Concert, the International Association for Jazz Education Conference, and on NPR and PBS. Between 1990 and 1997, GAME presented an annual concert series at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, where it consistently performed to large, enthusiastic audiences and strong critical praise.


School Work is the new project of bassist and Richmond transplant Adam Hopkins. The band is devoted to performing the music of the great avant-garde jazz composers of the 50s, 60s, and 70s: Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler, Andrew Hill, Charles Mingus, Jaki Byard, late Coltrane, and more.
Adam Hopkins is a bassist and composer born and raised in Baltimore MD, relocated to Brooklyn NY in 2011, and moved to Richmond in early 2019. He has extensive experience performing jazz and improvised music and has played with professional orchestras in Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the DC metro area. His debut album CRICKETS has received international acclaim from a variety of sources, most notably ranking as the #2 Debut Album in the 2018 NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Adam was also named the #2 Newcomer Musician for 2018 in the International Critics Poll organized by El Intruso. Crickets was the first release on Hopkins' Out Of Your Head Records, an artist-run record label dedicated to creative music and visual art in limited runs. He has toured as a member of John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet, been a side person with Henry Threadgill, and has recorded and/or performed regularly with Webber/Morris Big Band, Tomeka Reid, Kate Gentile Mannequins, Scott Clark's Dawn & Dusk, Anna Webber’s Rectangles, Christopher Hoffman Trio, Ideal Bread, among others. Adam has studied double bass with many great performers and teachers of the instrument, including Michael Formanek, Jeffrey Weisner, Jack Budrow, Rodney Whitaker, and Sam Cross and additional studies with Drew Gress and Gary Thomas.

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