Herbie Hancock, Chairman
In addition to being recognized as a legendary pianist and composer, Herbie Hancock has been an integral part of every jazz movement since the 1960s. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet, he became one of the pioneers of the avant garde sound. His recordings during the ’70s combined electric jazz with funk and rock sounds in an innovative style that influenced a whole decade of music. Rockit and Future Shock marked Hancock’s foray into electric dance music and included several chart-topping hits. During the same period he continued to work in an acoustic setting with V.S.O.P., which included ex-Miles Davis bandmates Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Hancock has received an Academy Award for his Round Midnight film score and numerous GRAMMY Awards. Many of his compositions, including “Canteloupe Island,” “Maiden Voyage,” “Watermelon Man,” and “Chameleon,” are modern standards that have had a profound effect on all styles of modern music.
Stuart Subotnick, Vice Chairman
Stuart Subotnick is President and Chief Executive Officer of Metromedia Company, a public media, entertainment, and communications company. Since 1981, Subotnick has negotiated all the major transactions entered into by Metromedia, including the sale of its television, radio, outdoor advertising, paging, cellular, and entertainment divisions. He has initiated and operated investments in such organizations as […]
Lynda Thomas, Secretary
Lynda Thomas is a private investor and philanthropist living in Laguna Beach, California and New York City. She is on the Boards of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Washington, DC; the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, where she is Vice-Chair; the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz; Backhausdance, a Southern California contemporary dance company; […]
James E. Farmer, Treasurer
James E. Farmer is the President of James E. Farmer Consulting, Inc. In 2004, he retired as Vice President, General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC), completing a 38-year career in the auto industry. Farmer is a member of numerous educational, automotive and professional organizations, including the Executive Leadership Council, Arthur W. Page Society, Public Relations Society […]
Thomas R. Carter, President
Tom Carter co-founded the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in 1986. After an extraordinary launch of the Institute, the following year he co-founded the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition, which has become recognized as the world’s most prestigious jazz competition. Carter was the driving force behind the creation of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. For more than 20 years, this full-scholarship master’s level college program has been recognized as the model training ground for young, aspiring jazz artists. In 2011, Carter was instrumental in establishing International Jazz Day, a worldwide annual celebration of jazz designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and presented in partnership with the United Nations. A native of Fairburn, Georgia, Carter received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Georgetown University. His public service experience began on Capitol Hill, where he served on the staffs of United States Senators Herman Talmadge and Lloyd Bentsen and United States Congressman John J. Flynt, Jr.
Paxton K. Baker
Paxton K. Baker is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Centric, a BET and MTV network. An entertainment industry veteran, he is also the President of BET Event Productions. Baker began his association with BET in 1992 when the company sponsored the first St. Lucia Jazz Festival. He began consulting with BET in […]
Jimmy Heath, Institute Trustee
In his more than 60 years on the jazz scene, saxophonist Jimmy Heath has done it all. Having appeared on more than 125 records both as a soloist and a composer, Heath embodies the history of jazz, known for always making his musical statements with style. Heath grew up in Philadelphia alongside brothers Percy and Tootie, both renowned jazz musicians in their own right. His saxophone style, so reminiscent of Charlie Parker that it earned him the nickname “Little Bird,” landed him gigs with Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, James Moody and others. Heath’s compositions such as “CTA” and “Gingerbread Boy” have become jazz standards and have been recorded by Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, and Chick Corea. As a member of the Heath Brothers, he was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in 1980. His teaching experience includes a 10-year association with Queens College, where he was a professor in the music department and director of jazz studies. In 1994, Heath was the recipient of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Maria Fisher Founder’s Award.
Wayne Shorter, Institute Trustee
Saxophonist Wayne Shorter is the most significant jazz composer since the ’60s. Dozens of his more than 200 compositions are considered modern standards and are performed by young artists around the world. In 1964, the same year Shorter recorded <em>Speak No Evil</em>, his first record as a leader for Blue Note, Miles Davis invited him to join a quartet that included Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Shorter was the composer who provided much of the material for the group’s musical explorations, which would become an inspiration for many jazz artists that followed. He recorded 12 albums with Miles Davis, including Bitches Brew, which sparked the fusion movement of the next decade. In 1970, Shorter joined keyboardist Joe Zawinul to form Weather Report, which combined jazz harmonies with rock and funk rhythms. The group became one of the most influential musical forces of the post-jazz era. Shorter has continued to be a leading figure in the evolution of the music. In 2003, he won two GRAMMY Awards, taking his total to eight over the past 25 years. Today, his quartet with Brian Blade, John Patitucci, and Danilo Perez is recognized as the most groundbreaking jazz group of the 21st century.