Concord Music Group News

NEWS 10 Mar 2008

Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz Announces 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competetion And International Jazz Composers Competition

Competition Winner Will Receive $20,000 Scholarship And A Guaranteed Record Deal From Concord Music Group

International jazz event will take place in Los Angeles with the Competition finals being held again at the Kodak Theatre

(Los Angeles, California, USA - March 10) - Today, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced that the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition finals will again take place on the west coast on Sunday, October 26 at 5pm at the famous Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Competition semi-finals will take place on the campus of UCLA at Schoenberg Hall on Saturday, October 25 from 1-5pm. This year's Competition will feature the saxophone. 10 of the world's most talented young saxophonists will compete in front an esteemed panel of judges including Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter and 1991 Competition winner Joshua Redman and others to be announced, who will select 3 finalists to compete for $35,000 in scholarship prizes. The winner of the Competition will receive a $20,000 scholarship, second place a $10,000 scholarship and third place a $5,000 scholarship. Competition applications and guidelines are now available on the Monk Institute website,

In addition, the Monk Institute and Concord Music Group jointly announced an historic partnership that will guarantee the 2008 winner a record deal from Concord. This is the first time in the 21-year history of the Competition that the winner will walk off stage with a guaranteed recording contract and the first time Concord Music Group has ever entered into a partnership of this kind. Concord Music Group plans to release the winner's album in mid 2009.

The Institute also announced today that applications are now available for the Thelonious Monk International Composer's Competition on the Institute's website. Sponsored for the past 15 years by BMI, the Composers Competition awards a $10,000 grand prize to the young composer who best demonstrates originality, creativity and excellence in jazz composition.

An All-Star Concert Gala to benefit the Institute's jazz education programs will immediately follow the 2008 Competition and will include the presentation of the 2008 Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award. Details on the benefit concert line-up and the 2008 Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award recipient will be announced in the coming months.

"I'm thrilled that the Monk Competition will return to Los Angeles and I'm amazed at this historic partnership with Concord. What an incredible opportunity Concord and the Institute are offering young musicians. This is truly a visionary moment in the history of jazz and I am certain that this year's winner, like many past winners, will have a significant impact on the future of music", said Herbie Hancock, Institute Chairman and 2008 GRAMMY Album of the Year winner.

"Today, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition has been taken to a new level yet again. For 20 years the Competition has consistently discovered some of the most successful young jazz musicians of their time. Our partnership with Concord further ensures that the Competition remains the most prestigious and influential jazz Competition in the world at developing the future of jazz", said Thelonious Monk, Jr, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

"After last year's tremendous sold out Trumpet Competition and Tribute to our Chairman, Herbie Hancock, the Institute was asked by so many in the business, entertainment and philanthropic communities to return for another year. We're so excited to return to the Kodak Theatre to present another world-class jazz event on the west coast. We'll be back at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in October 2009 and anticipate presenting the Competition in Los Angeles again in the future", said Tom Carter, President of the Institute.

"Our partnership with Concord truly symbolizes the increased attention being paid to the future of jazz. We are proud to be partnering with Concord and many other corporations, foundations, and individuals in Los Angeles and across the country to educate young people about jazz and create a broader listening audience for the music", said Robert J. Pilon, Jr, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships for the Institute.

"Perhaps no other organization has done more to support and provide opportunities for young jazz artists than the Thelonius Monk Institute. Our new partnership is based upon our mutual dedication to the evolution of the art form by embracing its youth. We hope to bring a greater level of awareness, not only the competition, but to the work the Institute does every day," said John Burk, Executive Vice President A&R, Concord Music Group.

"A mutual desire to draw attention to the central role of the composer in creating new works for the jazz idiom, a role epitomized by Thelonious Monk, led to our collaboration with the Institute 15 years ago in developing the Composers Competition, " said BMI president and CEO Del Bryant. "As with the Institute's main competition, the process has identified some of the most exciting young jazz composing talent from around the world, and played a significant role in launching and supporting careers for the young composer/ artists who are creating a new repertoire that will be treasured by generations to come."

In 2007, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition took place for the first time on the west coast at the Kodak Theatre. The sold-out crowd witnessed Nigerian native Ambrose Akinmusire take first place honors and the $20,000 scholarship prize. The Trumpet Competition panel of judges included Terence Blanchard, Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert, Hugh Masakela, and Clark Terry. Athens, Greece native Petros Sakelliou won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Composition sponsored by BMI and performed his winning composition, "Swingalong."

In conjunction with the 2007 Competition the Institute and The Recording Academy partnered to present a major tribute to honor Institute Chairman and jazz icon Herbie Hancock. Sting, Joni Mitchell, Jamie Foxx, Chris Botti, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Nancy Wilson, Terence Blanchard, Wayne Shorter, Roy Hargrove, Nathan East, and many others performed to pay homage to the 12-time GRAMMY winner. As a part of the tribute, the Institute established the Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award to recognize Herbie for all that he has done to harness the power of music to educate and inspire young people around the world. The award will be given each year to a deserving person who displays the same humanitarian qualities that Herbie does each and every day.


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