Arts Post
Posted at 06:21 PM ET, 08/10/2011

Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition celebrates 25th year

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is approaching their silver anniversary with a star-studded three-day celebration of jazz and soul.

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will be a judge at the 2011 Thelonious Monk Institue of Jazz Piano Competiton. (Photo by Damian Dovarganes/AP)
Focusing on the discipline of piano, the Institute’s piano semifinals competition will be held on Sept. 11 in the Baird Auditorium of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The twelve semifinalists, will be narrowed down to three with help from the judging panel which includes piano virtuosos H erbie Hancock and Ellis Marsalis.

The All-Star Gala Concert on Sept. 12 at the Kennedy Center will honor Aretha Franklin, the Institute’s Founder’s Award recipient. The winner of the piano ompetition, who will receive scholarship honors as well as a recording contract with Concord Music Group, will also be named. Further entertainment in the evening will be provided with a tribute concert to the competition’s namesake, performed by past Competition winners over the contest’s 25 year history.
Dee Dee Bridgewater will be a part of the “informace” at Duke Ellington School of the Arts on Sept. 13 as part of the Thelonious Monk Institute’s 25th anniversary. (AP Photo/Mark Mainz, file)

To round off the event on Sept. 13, Duke Ellington School of the Arts is hosting an “informance” that includes Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath and Dee Dee Bridgewater conversing about their favored genre and then playing select pieces to further illustrate the many forms that jazz music can take on.

“For 25 years, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has assembled some of the greatest young talent from around the world for our annual competition,” says Tom Carter, President of the Institute. “...our audience will have the opportunity to hear and see the next generation of jazz artists as they embark on their careers.”

“At the end of the evening, our attendees will have experienced the past, present and future of jazz,” Carter confirms.

The Institute’s events are made possible by Cadillac. The Gala concert will be a be a benefit for the Thelonious Monk Institute. To purchase tickets, visit For more information on the competition, check out the Thelonious Monk Instutue website, at

By Erin Williams  |  06:21 PM ET, 08/10/2011

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