Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

2014 International Jazz Trumpet Competition & Gala - TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE. Read More

Monk Institute News

Tickets now on sale for the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition & All-Star Gala! Visit the Dolby Theatre to purchase yours today! Proceeds from the 2014 Gala benefit the Institute's education programs across the United States. Gala Packages are also available.

Thanks to Delta State University for showing us true Southern hospitality during our visit! We were thrilled to have such appreciative, receptive audiences for our most recent interactive education program on the blues and jazz. Read the article here.

We'll be returning to Mississippi this month! We're so excited to partner with GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater in teaching the next generation about the blues and jazz and their vital roles in American art and culture.

Congratulations to legendary trumpeter and arts patron Herb Alpert on his feature in The Hollywood Reporter's August 22nd Philanthropy Issue, which also features the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. The Institute is proud to be playing a role in the continuing evolution of jazz music, made possible in large part through Alpert's generosity.

Read the full feature here!

"A good manager is in some ways like the conductor of a symphony orchestra. But a truly good manager may well be more like the leader of a jazz combo."

Check out this fascinating Forbes article from June on why having an understanding of jazz may be good for business!

Photos are up from our June Jazz in the Classroom Spring Concert, presented in conjunction with the Los Angeles Unified School District's Beyond the Bell program. Featuring the Thelonious Monk/LAUSD Beyond the Bell All-City Big Band and students from seven Los Angeles public schools:

Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts
Eagle Rock High School
Alexander Hamilton High School
John Marshall High School
Pacoima Middle School
Walter Reed Middle School
George Washington Preparatory High School

View the Facebook album here!

Our mid-year newsletter is out! Learn how the Institute continues to change lives around the world through jazz education - click here

Sign up for our mailing list by scrolling to the bottom of this page and entering your email address.

We were saddened to learn that renowned bassist, composer, educator and NEA Jazz Master Charlie Haden passed away last Friday. In addition to repeatedly serving as an artist-in-residence for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance and teaching in the Institute's Los Angeles public school programs, Haden adjudicated both of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competitions. They simply wouldn't have been the same without him.

Our condolences to all those who knew and loved Charlie. Read the National Endowment for the Arts' statement (and view a wonderful video tribute) here.

Congrats again to all the winners of DownBeat Magazine's 62nd Annual International Critics Poll, and particularly to 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition winner Cécile McLorin Salvant for topping a whopping four categories!

Kudos also to 2007 Trumpet Competition winner Ambrose Akinmusire for his win in the trumpet category!

We really enjoyed seeing Keep On Keepin' On', Alan Hicks' moving documentary on Institute Co-Founder Clark Terry, at AFI Docs. Check out this piece from The Hollywood Reporter for some fascinating background on the film.

If you missed the live stream from Osaka on April 30, be sure to check out the International Jazz Day YouTube channel - you can watch all of our educational programming from that day, not to mention the newest cut of the All-Star Global Concert at Osaka Castle Park! Check out Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock, Chris Thomas King, Marcus Miller, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding and others discussing topics ranging from human rights to jazz philosophy. Stay tuned - more videos are on their way!

Check out Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock's profile this week on CCTV America's Full Frame: "Jazz as a Metaphor for Life." Featuring appearances by Institute Trustee Wayne Shorter, Institute West Coast Director Daniel Seeff, and the recently graduated Class of 2014 at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.

The Institute was happy to be able to provide the archival footage of Hancock's performances seen in this episode.

2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition winner Melissa Aldana releases her first album on Concord today! Thanks to Concord Music Group for this great clip of the work in progress.

Aldana's prize as last year's first-place finalist included $25,000 in scholarships and a guaranteed record deal with Concord Records. We'll be pleased to see (and hear) the fruits of their labor very soon!

We’re giving away free tickets to this weekend’s screening of Keep On Keepin’ On at the AFI Docs Documentary Festival - complete w/ live performances by 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition semifinalist Justin Kauflin and a Q&A w/ Director Alan Hicks. For more info and to enter the drawing, check out our Facebook page.

Pics are up from last week's trip to Mexico! Accompanied by UCLA faculty members James Newton and Justo Almario, the Thelonious Monk Institute Ensemble conducted educational programs, including a peer-to-peer workshop at the Escuela Superior de Música, and a concert for more than 500 people at CENART's Auditorio Blas Galindo. Check out the Facebook album here.

Early congratulations to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2014! They'll be graduating on Saturday with the rest of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. Thanks to Dave, Diego, Eric, Jonathan, Josh, Mike and Miro for an incredible two years of hard work, hard playing and unforgettable experiences.

The Institute is proud to appear in the July issue of DownBeat Magazine as one of the 80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today! From "This special issue presents 80 people, places and things that illustrate why jazz remains such a vibrant art form in 2014." Check out the article here.

We're pleased to announce that the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition and All-Star Gala Concert will take place at LA's Dolby Theatre on Sunday, November 9! 

We'll hear today's best young up-and-coming trumpet players compete for $100,000+ in scholarships and prizes and honor longtime Institute supporter President Bill Clinton!

Read the press release here.

Thanks to Institute partner LAUSD's Beyond the Bell program for organizing an incredible International Jazz Day "Jazz Mob" at Union Station in Downtown LA!

Check out the video, which features many talented local musicians including 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition semifinalist and Jazz in the Classroom teaching artist Danny Janklow.

Photos are now up from our International Jazz Day education program in Osaka, Japan! Check out Institute Chairman and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock, Institute Co-Founder Thelonious Monk, Jr., UNESCO Artist for Peace Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terumasa Hino, Earl Klugh and more participating in free public panel discussions, workshops, and master classes. It's all on!

Our Peer-to-Peer program (and High School All-Star Jazz Sextet) is featured in the June issue of DownBeat Magazine!

"The ensemble is teaching kids that there is more to music than rock 'n' roll and hip-hop," said Dr. J.B. Dyas, Monk Institute vice president for education and curriculum development. "But the larger message is, 'We are doing good things with our lives - and you can do something good with your lives.'

The application for the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition is now open! This is a chance for dedicated young professional jazz musicians to compete for $100,000+ in scholarships and prizes.

Click here to access the application.

All applications must be received by September 5, 2014.

We're adding video from our recent Peer-to-Peer tours and more! Check out the videos section of the site for some great clips.

Thanks to all who made the third annual International Jazz Day a resounding success! We’re so grateful to UNESCO and our partners in 196 countries worldwide for organizing education programs, concerts, festivals, exhibits, jam sessions, book signings and more around the global celebration of jazz and its message of peace, intercultural dialogue and cooperation.

International Jazz Day is on April 30! We’re working hard with Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and UNESCO to make this the best Jazz Day yet. If you’re not sure about participating, take a look at this video message from Director-General Irina Bokova.

Renowned trumpeter and teaching artist Terell Stafford joined students from our Performing Arts High School jazz program at the Department of Education on April 4. The students delivered an informance and answered questions from an admiring audience. Check out the blog post and some excellent photos here.

We're presenting our Peer-to-Peer jazz education program in Buffalo and Rochester public schools this week! Combining performance with educational information, the informances will be presented by five exceptionally gifted music students from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), one of 11 public performing arts magnet schools around the country participating in the Institute’s National Performing Arts High School Jazz Program. 

The students are accompanied by renowned teaching artists Antonio Hart and Lisa Henry. Do you have pictures from this or any other Peer-to-Peer tour? Share them with us by posting on our wall or sending them to!

We're pleased to announce that Osaka, Japan will serve as the 2014 Global Host City for International Jazz Day. On April 30, Osaka will be the site of many key activities for the global celebration of jazz - including the All-Star Global Concert, to be streamed live online and on public television stations around the world. Read the press release.

Jazz legend Benny Golson will present a Listening Session next Tuesday at our program at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. He will discuss the composition and recording of "Along Came Betty," "Stablemates," "Whisper Not” and other classic compositions. Free & open to the public. Learn more here.

We're so pleased to announce the upcoming Peer-to-Peer tour featuring the All-Star sextet from our Performing Arts High Schools Jazz Program, led by Competition winners and renowned musicians Ambrose Akinmusire and Lisa Henry. The students and guest artists will travel to schools throughout Northern California and will even perform a night at world-famous jazz club Yoshi's San Francisco on Feb. 26. Read more here.

Students from our college program had the chance to give a special performance for rockers Mötley Crüe last Wednesday. Check out the video and article from UCLA Today.

Registration for the 3rd annual International Jazz Day is now open! The Institute and UNESCO organize this global celebration of jazz each year to promote peace, intercultural dialogue, and respect for human dignity through music. Check out the official website and register your event here.

We're so pleased that Monk Competition winners Melissa Aldana (2013), Kris Bowers (2011), and Jamison Ross (2012) were featured performers at the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Awards on January 13th, 2014!

The Institute is in the process of digitizing the program books from some past competitions. Each book is a piece of jazz history, with rare photos and info on competitors - many of whom are now celebrated jazz artists in their own right! You can check out the 2007 Trumpet Competition in brilliant full color here.

Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock was recently featured in The New York Times. The article reviews his numerous contributions to jazz and makes mention of his work both with the Institute and on behalf of International Jazz Day.

The Institute was recognized at the 2013 Champions of Jazz Gala for its public school education programs in Newark, NJ and beyond. The event featured our clinicians Don Braden & Christian McBride, 2013 Competition winner Melissa Aldana, and Newark's Arts High Jazz Quartet! Check out this special video tribute from host WBGO.

Congratulations to First Place winner: Melissa Aldana, Second Place winner: Tivon Pennicott, and Third Place winner: Godwin Louis!

The 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and All-Star Gala Concert came to a close with roaring applause as first place winner Melissa Aldana traded choruses with saxophone great Jimmy Heath and joined an all-star cast in a finale featuring Heath’s classic composition “Gingerbread Boy.”

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Congratulations to our three finalists Godwin Louis, Melissa Aldana, and Tivon Pennicott! We'll see you tomorrow night for the finals and All-Star Gala Concert at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater!

On September 16 the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Finals and All-Star Gala Concert will be held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The Institute will present Wayne Shorter with a Lifetime Achievement Award and pay tribute to the late George Duke with performers including: Marcus Miller, Ledisi, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Brian Blade, Terri Lyne Carringtion, Kurt Elling, Roy Hargrove, Take 6, Danilo Perez and John Patitucci, among others. The evening's co-hosts will include Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Jr. and Billy Dee Williams. John Beasley will serve as the evening's musical director. All proceeds from the Gala Concert will support the Institute's public school jazz education programs in Washington, D.C. and across the country. For ticket information: Click Here

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The 13 Saxophone Semifinalists for 2013 have been Announced: 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; 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.

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The 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition will be presented by the world-renowned Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, in partnership with Cadillac, this year’s Presenting Sponsor, on September 15 and 16. The Competition Semifinals will be held at Baird Auditorium in The Smithsonian's Natural History Museum on Sunday and is free and open to the public at 1pm.

The Competition finals will be held at The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts on Monday at 7:30pm.

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Institute College Ensemble
Performs at Red Sea Jazz Festival
With Vocalist Jane Monheit
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble is traveling to Israel to perform on August 18th and 19th at the Red Sea Jazz Festival with world renowned vocalist Jane Monheit. The group will perform music from Monheit’s recent recordings as well as their own original compositions. They will also present a Master Class as part of the festival events on August 19th.

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