WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the world's premier non-profit jazz education organization, will celebrate its 25th Anniversary in grand style with its illustrious International Jazz Piano Competition and historic Gala Concert on September 11th and 12th. In partnership with major sponsor Cadillac, the 25th Anniversary Celebration will include a series of events and performances aimed to honor the rich history of the Institute and the profound impact of jazz education.
The Institute's International Jazz Piano Competition is recognized as the world's most prestigious jazz competition. Through the competition and the Institute's numerous educational programs, the Institute is committed to identifying and training promising young jazz musicians who will preserve the traditions of jazz while expanding the music in new directions.
"Twenty-five years ago, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz was created to celebrate the cultural and historical importance of jazz music and to cultivate jazz education. Jazz is America's greatest musical contribution to the world and is vital to our national identity," said Thomas R. Carter, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz President. "We are thrilled to celebrate the strides that the Institute has made in furthering jazz education and nurturing the next masters of the art form."
Highlights of the 25th Anniversary celebration include:
The 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition Semifinals – Twelve semifinalists from around the world will compete and the three finalists will be announced at the end of the program. Judges include Herbie Hancock, Ellis Marsalis, Danilo Perez and Jason Moran. (Sunday, September 11 from 1 PM to 5 PM in Baird Auditorium at the Smithsonian Institution, sponsored by Cadillac)
All-Star Gala Concert – The 25th Anniversary Celebration, co-chaired by Madeleine Albright, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee and Colin Powell, will feature an appearance by Aretha Franklin, the Institute's Founder's Award honoree. As a part of the evening, the three finalists will compete for scholarship prizes and a recording contract with Concord Music Group, and Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition winners from the past 25 years will perform a special tribute to the life and music of Thelonious Monk. The winner of the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition will be announced, and leading jazz artists of multiple generations will be on hand to perform a wide range of music and styles. (Monday, September 12 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater sponsored by Cadillac)
Assembly Program at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts – A special informance (informational performance) will be presented for hundreds of students by Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ben Williams, and others. The artists will discuss the rich history of jazz and perform a special selection of music demonstrating the many styles of this American art form. (Tuesday, September 13 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts)
About the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit jazz education organization, was founded in 1986 in memory of the legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk. The Institute fosters the next generation of jazz greats by offering the world's most promising young musicians college level training by internationally recognized jazz masters, educating young people around the world about jazz through innovative public school programs, and presenting a wide range of initiatives that expand and perpetuate America's indigenous musical art form.
Visit the Institute at www.monkinstitute.org.
About the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition
Since 1987, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has presented the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, which is recognized as the world's most prestigious jazz competition and for discovering the next generation of jazz masters. Each year, major scholarships and prizes including recording contracts are awarded to the talented young musicians participating in the Competition. The scholarships help pay tuition for college-level jazz education studies and provide funds for private, specialized instruction. Past judges have included Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Marian McPartland, Pat Metheny, and many others.
SOURCE Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz