WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the world's premier nonprofit jazz education organization, named Kris Bowers, of Los Angeles, the winner of its illustrious 2011 International Jazz Competition at the Institute's All-Star Gala Concert on Monday, Sept. 12 at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. President Obama congratulated Bowers, second place finalist Joshua White and third place finalist Emmet Cohen at the White House Tuesday, Sept. 13, after they performed among Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and other jazz greats the previous evening. Events from the 25th Anniversary included:
- The 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition Semifinals – Twelve semifinalists from around the world competed and the three finalists, Kris Bowers, Joshua White and Emmet Cohen were announced at the end of the program. Judges included Herbie Hancock, Ellis Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Jason Moran and Renee Rosnes. (Sunday, September 11, in Baird Auditorium at the Smithsonian Institution, sponsored by Cadillac)
- Thelonious Monk Institute Proclamation Presentation – Mayor Vincent C. Gray declared the day "Thelonious Monk Jazz Day." (Monday, September 12 at the Mayor's office)
- All Star Gala Concert – The 25th Anniversary Celebration, co-chaired by Madeleine Albright, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee and Colin Powell, featured an appearance by Aretha Franklin, the Institute's Founder's Award honoree. As a part of the evening, the three finalists competed for scholarship prizes and a recording contract with Concord Music Group, which Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of marketing, awarded to first place winner Kris Bowers. Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Chaka Khan and Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition winners from the past 25 years performed a tribute to Institute Founder's Award honoree, Aretha Franklin. Jennifer Hudson made a surprise performance, singing "Oh Me Oh My." After her performance, Herbie Hancock led the Kennedy Center in singing Jennifer Hudson "Happy Birthday" as she celebrated her 30th on stage. (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) was presented for hundreds of students by Herbie Hancock, and others. The artists discussed the rich history of jazz and performed 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)
- Reception at the US Capitol – Thelonious Monk Jr., Herbie Hancock, and Institute President Tom Carter recognized the Institute's supporters, sponsors and musicians. (Tuesday, September 13 at the US Capitol)
The pianists traveled to Washington, D.C., from around the world on United Airlines, the official airline of the Thelonious Monk Institute.
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, Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, Marian McPartland, Pat Metheny, and many others.
SOURCE Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz