Monk Institute of Jazz 20th Anniversary Concert Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Patti Austin and Stevie Wonder celebrate the Institute that offers young musicians college-level training from the masters. The namesake — Thelonious Monk — was born October 10, 1917, and would be 90 this fall. Hear the concert.
NPR logo Monk Institute of Jazz 20th Anniversary Concert

Monk Institute of Jazz 20th Anniversary Concert

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz 20th Anniversary Concert on JazzSet

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Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz 20th Anniversary Concert on JazzSet

Audio is no longer available

The flyer from the competition. hide caption

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The flyer from the competition.


Recording engineer Ginger Bruner at KUNV, Las Vegas

Technical Director Duke Markos

Producer Becca Pulliam

Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO, Newark and

The Program

  • Lisa Henry (runner-up of 1994 Vocal Competition) introduces Gerald Clayton
  • Joshua Redman (winner of the 1991 Monk International Saxophone Competition) introduces Tigran Himasyan
  • Stevie Wonder receives Maria Fisher Award and plays "Midnight Sun" (Lionel Hampton) (excerpt)
  • Phylicia Rashad introduces Musical Director George Duke, piano; Wayne Shorter, soprano; Joshua Redman, tenor; John Patitucci, bass; Terri Lyne Carrington, drums
  • "So What" (Miles Davis)
  • Quincy Jones introduces Patti Austin, vocalist, on "How High the Moon"
  • Terence Blanchard introduces selection from the Institute of Jazz Performance Class of 2007 Tim Green, alto saxophone (Baltimore); Walter Smith III, tenor saxophone (Houston); Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet (Oakland); Romain Collin, piano (Cannes, France); Joe Sanders, bass (Milwaukee); Zach Harmon, drums (Winneconne, WI); and Chris Dingman, vibraphone (San Jose)
  • Jane Monheit sings "Detour Ahead" (runner-up of 1998 Vocal Competition) with Herbie Hancock, piano; Ron Carter, bass
  • Improvisation for Tom Carter by Hancock and Shorter
  • "Four in One" (Monk) performed by Terence Blanchard, Seamus Blake, James Carter, Jorge Dupor, Jon Gordon, Danilo Perez, TS Monk, Don Sickler (arranger), Bruce Williams
  • Recording engineer Bill Winn
  • Thanks to Tom Carter, Leonard Brown, Michelle Day of the Monk Institute
  • Sponsors are General Motors and Northrop Grumman

Half a century ago, before there was jazz education, the Manhattan apartment of pianist and composer Thelonious Monk was more than home to him and his family. It was an all-day and all-night salon for young players and proteges. After his death in 1982, to continue the education and fellowship, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz was born, offering opportunities to promising musicians. The first Monk International Piano Competition took place 20 years ago, and the institute has looked forward ever since.

This week, we're celebrating at the Monk Institute 20th Anniversary Concert at the Kennedy Center. First, we hear two songs from the Piano Competition finals. Runner-up Gerald Clayton from Los Angeles plays a solo "Django" by John Lewis, wrapped in phrases of the "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven. Tigran Himasyan from Armenia plays "Cherokee," and wins the $20,000 first prize.

Then stars come out for a birthday party. Stevie Wonder receives the Maria Fisher Award, named for the Washington, D.C., classical music philanthropist who helped to found the Monk Institute. Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter improvise a duet to thank President Tom Carter, indefatigable in the growth of all the institute programs. An all-star band plays a triumphant "Four in One" by Thelonious himself. And more. Party with us!