Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Competition - History

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Since 1987, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has presented the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. Each year, more than $60,000 in scholarships and prizes are awarded to talented young musicians and composers. The scholarships help pay tuition for college-level jazz education studies and provide funds for private, specialized instruction. The competition focuses on a different instrument every year and features an outstanding all-star judging panel. Branford Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, Quincy Jones, and Diana Krall have all served as judges at past competitions.

The Institute has presented competitions for piano, bass, drums, hand drums, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, vocals and trombone. In 2013, the competition once again showcased the saxophone, with the semifinals taking place at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History and the finals held at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater.

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