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Friday
Aug232013

2013 Thelonious Monk Int'l Jazz Saxophone Competition and All-Star Gala Concert to Take Place September 15-16 in Washington, DC!

Washington, D.C. -- The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz today announced the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and All-Star Gala Concert will take place at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, September 16. The 2013 Competition and Gala is made possible through generous support from Cadillac, the presenting sponsor for the weekend.

This year's Competition will feature 14 of the world's most outstanding young jazz saxophonists who have been selected to perform before a panel of jazz greats including Jane Ira Bloom, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Wayne Shorter, and Bobby Watson.


The Semifinals of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition will be held on Sunday, September 15 from noon to 6:00 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution's Baird Auditorium inside the National Museum of American History. Each semifinalist will perform for 15 minutes, accompanied by Rodney Whitaker on bass, Reginald Thomas on piano, and Carl Allen on drums.

 

Three finalists will be selected to participate in the Competition Finals on September 16 at the Kennedy Center, vying for scholarships and prizes totaling more than $100,000 including a $25,000 first place scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group; $15,000 second place scholarship; and $10,000 third place scholarship.

 

Following the three finalists' performances at the Competition Finals, an All-Star Gala Concert will bring together some of the biggest names in jazz, including John Beasley (Musical Director), Brian Blade, Terri Lyne Carrington, Vinnie Colaiuta, Kurt Elling, James Genus, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, T.S. Monk, John Patitucci, Danilo Pérez, Take 6, Cassandra Wilson and others. Additional talent will be announced shortly.


At the concert, the Institute will present the legendary Wayne Shorter with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his extraordinary, six-decade career as a saxophonist, educator and composer. In the Institute's nearly 30-year history, this is only the second time the award has been presented, the first being to Quincy Jones in 1996. There will also be a special tribute to the late George Duke, a longtime friend and supporter of the Institute, who was scheduled to serve as the evening's Musical Director. Many of Duke's longtime musical collaborators will perform in his memory.

 

The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, often compared in stature to classical music's International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, is widely regarded as the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. Each year, the Competition features a different musical instrument and major scholarships and prizes are awarded to talented young musicians.

 

For more than 25 years, the competition has launched the careers of a number of major jazz stars including saxophonist Joshua Redman, vocalists Jane Monheit and Gretchen Parlato, pianist Marcus Roberts, bassist Ben Williams, and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. These artists and dozens of others from past competitions have forged successful careers as performing and recording artists, as well as music educators to help preserve and perpetuate America's legacy of jazz.

 

The 14 saxophone semifinalists are: 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; Grace Kelly, Wellesley, Massachusetts; 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.

 

The semifinals will be streamed online via the web sites of the Smithsonian Institution and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Competition finals will be taped as a documentary for BET/Centric television. The documentary will include performance clips and interviews with the Semifinalists and judges.

 

Air transportation is provided by United Airlines, Official Airline of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

 

Proceeds from the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and All-Star Gala Concert will help fund the Institute's public school jazz and blues education programs across Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Delta.

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