Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Musicians celebrate International Jazz Day in Osaka 2014: Herbie Hancock, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Gregory Porter, John Beasley, John Scofield, Dee Dee Bridgewater, T.S. Monk, Oumou Sangaré, Shelia E, Pete Escovedo, Roberta Gambarini, Kenny Garrett, James Genus, Terri Lyne Carrington, Steve Turre, Roy Hargrove, Lalah Hathaway, Terumasa Hino, Chris Thomas King, Earl Klugh, Marcus Miller, Theo Croker, Joe Louis Walker, Kris Bowers, Courtney Pine, Jonathan Butler, Claudio Roditi, Lew Tabackin, Troy Roberts, Esperanza Spalding, Wayne Shorter, and Makoto Ozone. Read More »

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International Jazz Day: April 30 is International Jazz Day 2013 Thelonius Monk Jazz Saxophone Competition
International Jazz Day - Herbie Hancock Opening Speech at Global Concert Jazz Day Sunrise Concert – April 30, 2012 from Congo Square, New Orleans

Monk Institute News

Renowned trumpeter and teaching artist Terell Stafford joined students from our Performing Arts High School jazz program at the Department of Education on April 4. The students delivered an informance and answered questions from an admiring audience. Check out the blog post and some excellent photos here.

We're presenting our Peer-to-Peer jazz education program in Buffalo and Rochester public schools this week! Combining performance with educational information, the informances will be presented by five exceptionally gifted music students from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), one of 11 public performing arts magnet schools around the country participating in the Institute’s National Performing Arts High School Jazz Program. 

The students are accompanied by renowned teaching artists Antonio Hart and Lisa Henry. Do you have pictures from this or any other Peer-to-Peer tour? Share them with us by posting on our wall or sending them to!

We're pleased to announce that Osaka, Japan will serve as the 2014 Global Host City for International Jazz Day. On April 30, Osaka will be the site of many key activities for the global celebration of jazz - including the All-Star Global Concert, to be streamed live online and on public television stations around the world. Read the press release.

Jazz legend Benny Golson will present a Listening Session next Tuesday at our program at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. He will discuss the composition and recording of "Along Came Betty," "Stablemates," "Whisper Not” and other classic compositions. Free & open to the public. Learn more here.

We're so pleased to announce the upcoming Peer-to-Peer tour featuring the All-Star sextet from our Performing Arts High Schools Jazz Program, led by Competition winners and renowned musicians Ambrose Akinmusire and Lisa Henry. The students and guest artists will travel to schools throughout Northern California and will even perform a night at world-famous jazz club Yoshi's San Francisco on Feb. 26. Read more here.

Students from our college program had the chance to give a special performance for rockers Mötley Crüe last Wednesday. Check out the video and article from UCLA Today.

Registration for the 3rd annual International Jazz Day is now open! The Institute and UNESCO organize this global celebration of jazz each year to promote peace, intercultural dialogue, and respect for human dignity through music. Check out the official website and register your event here.

We're so pleased that Monk Competition winners Melissa Aldana (2013), Kris Bowers (2011), and Jamison Ross (2012) were featured performers at the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Awards on January 13th, 2014!

The Institute is in the process of digitizing the program books from some past competitions. Each book is a piece of jazz history, with rare photos and info on competitors - many of whom are now celebrated jazz artists in their own right! You can check out the 2007 Trumpet Competition in brilliant full color here.

Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock was recently featured in The New York Times. The article reviews his numerous contributions to jazz and makes mention of his work both with the Institute and on behalf of International Jazz Day.

The Institute was recognized at the 2013 Champions of Jazz Gala for its public school education programs in Newark, NJ and beyond. The event featured our clinicians Don Braden & Christian McBride, 2013 Competition winner Melissa Aldana, and Newark's Arts High Jazz Quartet! Check out this special video tribute from host WBGO.

Congratulations to First Place winner: Melissa Aldana, Second Place winner: Tivon Pennicott, and Third Place winner: Godwin Louis!

The 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and All-Star Gala Concert came to a close with roaring applause as first place winner Melissa Aldana traded choruses with saxophone great Jimmy Heath and joined an all-star cast in a finale featuring Heath’s classic composition “Gingerbread Boy.”

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Congratulations to our three finalists Godwin Louis, Melissa Aldana, and Tivon Pennicott! We'll see you tomorrow night for the finals and All-Star Gala Concert at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater!

On September 16 the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Finals and All-Star Gala Concert will be held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The Institute will present Wayne Shorter with a Lifetime Achievement Award and pay tribute to the late George Duke with performers including: Marcus Miller, Ledisi, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Brian Blade, Terri Lyne Carringtion, Kurt Elling, Roy Hargrove, Take 6, Danilo Perez and John Patitucci, among others. The evening's co-hosts will include Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Jr. and Billy Dee Williams. John Beasley will serve as the evening's musical director. All proceeds from the Gala Concert will support the Institute's public school jazz education programs in Washington, D.C. and across the country. For ticket information: Click Here

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The 13 Saxophone Semifinalists for 2013 have been Announced: Melissa Aldana, Santiago, Chile; Braxton Cook, Silver Spring, Maryland; Sam Dillon, Great Neck, New York; Lukas Gabric, Villach, Austria; Andrew Gould, Long Island, New York; Michael Griffin, Sydney, Australia; Danny Janklow, Los Angeles, California; Mike Lebrun, Framingham, Massachusetts, Godwin Louis, Harlem, New York; Tivon Pennicott, Marietta, Georgia; Clay Pritchard, Grapevine, Texas; Dean Tsur, Timrat, Israel; and Ben Van Gelder, Groninger, The Netherlands.

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The 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition will be presented by the world-renowned Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, in partnership with Cadillac, this year’s Presenting Sponsor, on September 15 and 16. The Competition Semifinals will be held at Baird Auditorium in The Smithsonian's Natural History Museum on Sunday and is free and open to the public at 1pm.

The Competition finals will be held at The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts on Monday at 7:30pm.

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Institute College Ensemble
Performs at Red Sea Jazz Festival
With Vocalist Jane Monheit
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble is traveling to Israel to perform on August 18th and 19th at the Red Sea Jazz Festival with world renowned vocalist Jane Monheit. The group will perform music from Monheit’s recent recordings as well as their own original compositions. They will also present a Master Class as part of the festival events on August 19th.

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