Festivities Will Celebrate “Women, Music and Diplomacy”
All-star talent line-up includes Herbie Hancock, Helen Mirren, Tipper Gore, Billy Dee Williams, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter, George Duke, Patti Austin, Nnenna Freelon, Geri Allen, Mark O’Connor, Gretchen Parlato, Lee Ritenour, Roberta Gambarini and many others, with special guests Aretha Franklin and Chris Botti
25th annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and “Women,
Music and Diplomacy” All-Star Gala Concert will be presented by the
world-renowned Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, in partnership with
Cadillac, this year’s Presenting Sponsor, on September 22-23. Through
the competition and its numerous educational programs, the Institute is
committed to identifying and training the world’s leading young jazz
musicians who will preserve the traditions of jazz while expanding the
music in new directions.
“Cadillac and the Thelonious Monk
Institute are a natural fit, ” said Don Butler, Cadillac vice president
of marketing. “As Cadillac expands and elevates itself around the world,
we’re proud to join the Monk Institute to celebrate this great American
art form and its global cultural impact.”
Open to musicians
under age 30 from across the globe, this year’s competition will shine
the spotlight on the drums. Twelve semifinalists will compete at the
Smithsonian Institution on Saturday afternoon, September 22. From this
group, the judges will select three finalists who will perform in the
final round at the Kennedy Center on Sunday evening, September 23. At
stake is more than $100, 000 in scholarships and prizes, including a
$25, 000 first place scholarship and guaranteed recording contract with
Concord Music Group. This year’s competition judges include a
distinguished panel of drummers: Carl Allen, Brian Blade, Terri Lyne
Carrington, Jimmy Cobb, Peter Erskine, and Ben Riley.
also will feature a star-studded “Women, Music and Diplomacy” Gala
honoring former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with the
Institute’s 2012 Maria Fisher Founder’s Award. UNESCO Director General
Irina Bokova will deliver remarks about the successes of the newly
established International Jazz Day, celebrated annually on April 30th,
and will address the role of jazz as a diplomatic force in uniting
people around the world.
The Gala will highlight the
contributions of women in jazz over the past century. Under the musical
direction of George Duke, special musical segments featuring a
multi-generational group of all-stars will be performed in tribute to
artists including Lena Horne, Anita O’Day, Mary Lou Williams and Ella
Fitzgerald. Performers will include Geri Allen, Patti Austin, Jane Ira
Bloom, Randy Brecker, James Carter, Vinnie Colaiuta, Claire Daly, Akua
Dixon, Nnenna Freelon, Roberta Gambarini, James Genus, Jimmy Heath,
Ingrid Jensen, Mark O’Connor, Linda Oh, Gretchen Parlato, Lee Ritenour,
Ada Rovatti and Wayne Shorter, along with special guests Aretha Franklin
and Chris Botti. The evening’s hosts will include Tipper Gore, Herbie
Hancock, Helen Mirren, Thelonious Monk Jr., and Billy Dee Williams.
Institute is honored to have Cadillac as our Presenting Sponsor again
this year. Cadillac is the perfect match for the Institute, our jazz
competition, and annual gala because jazz and Cadillac are both
enduring, iconic, innovative and uniquely American brands. Their support
has been critical to our success and had helped us bring jazz to
millions of people across the country. We are grateful to the Cadillac
family for believing in our mission to perpetuate jazz and offer it to
the citizens of the world through education and performance, ” said Tom
Carter, Thelonious Monk Institute President.
The Gala Concert
will honor Madeleine Albright, a friend of the Institute for more than
15 years. Selected by President Bill Clinton to serve as the first
female U.S. Secretary of State, Albright is one of the most respected
and admired women of all time. She will be presented with the 2012 Maria
Fisher Founder’s Award in honor of her longtime support of jazz, music
education, and the Thelonious Monk Institute. The award honors
individuals who have made valuable contributions to jazz and jazz
education. Past recipients include Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Aretha
Franklin, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry,
Jimmy Heath, George Wein, and Clint Eastwood.
Proceeds from the
Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition and Gala Concert
will help fund public school jazz and blues education programs
throughout Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, and the
Mississippi Delta. BET will broadcast the competition, and the
semifinals will be streamed online via the Smithsonian Institution and
Monk Institute websites.
Cadillac sponsored highlights of the competition weekend include:
Monk International Jazz Drums Competition Semifinals: Saturday,
September 22, noon to 5:00 pm at the Smithsonian Institution’s Baird
Auditorium. The 12 semifinalists will be accompanied by pianist Geoffrey
Keezer, bassist Rodney Whitaker and saxophonist Jon Gordon.
Finals and All-Star Gala Concert: Sunday, September 23 at 7:30 pm at
the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. The three finalists selected at
the semifinals will compete, and world-renowned jazz artists will
perform as part of a “Women, Jazz and Diplomacy” tribute.
Monk Institute of Jazz is a nonprofit educational organization
established in 1986 in memory of legendary jazz pianist and composer
Thelonious Monk, who believed the best way to learn jazz was from a
master of the music. Following that same philosophy, the Institute
brings together the greatest living jazz musicians to teach and inspire
young people. School programs are offered free of charge to help fill
the tremendous void in arts education. www.monkinstitute.org.
Monk International Jazz Competition, regarded as the world’s most
prestigious jazz competition, features a different musical instrument
each year. It has launched the careers of jazz stars including
saxophonist Joshua Redman; vocalists Jane Monheit, Gretchen Parlato and
Tierney Sutton; pianists Joey DeFrancesco, Marcus Roberts and Jacky
Terrasson; trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire; and bassist Ben Williams.
has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years,
Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering
and advanced technology. media.cadillac.com.