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The Entire Works Of Jazz Legend Thelonious Monk In One Go
The entire repertoire of a leading jazz pioneer is to be performed across Birmingham over the course of a special nine day festival. The event, which takes place from Monday 12 June to Tuesday 20 June, is called Monkathon in tribute to master jazz musician Thelonious Monk. The festival is to encompass the entire output of Monk to commemorate the centenary of his birth. Organised by Birmingham Conservatoire's Jazz Department, Monkathon will see all 70 of Monk's compositions performed at venues across the city by groups, soloists and internationally-renowned guest artists. Venues include the Spotted Dog, The Red Lion, CBSO Centre and Birmingham Conservatoire.
Thelonious Monk performing in 1947. By William P. Gottlieb - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Music Division under the digital ID gottlieb.06191. Public Domain,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11121070
Dr Hans Koller, Senior Lecturer at Birmingham Conservatoire, says, "Thelonious Monk is one of the 20th century giants of music, not just of jazz. His art transcends boundaries of time, style and aesthetics. Monk at 100 is a wonderful excuse to celebrate his status as an iconic figure of inspiration to us all. The Birmingham Monkathon brings together students, alumni and staff at BCU, with leading international Monk-inspired performers including Steve Cardenas from New York, Liam Noble from the UK, and Professor François Théberge from Paris Conservatoire, as well as the eminent Monk biographer Professor Robin Kelley, for this grand celebration. In addition, we have international students, outreach programmes, and many gigs across the city."
American composer and pianist Thelonious Monk (1917-1982) is one of the most recorded jazz artists in history who contributed many jazz standards including Straight, No Chaser, Blue Monk and Round Midnight. He was particularly known for his individual approach to composition and distinctive stage presence, making him a unique and influential musician. Highlights of Monkathon include performances by Steve Cardenas with Martin Speake, Hans Koller, Calum Gourlay and James Maddren, 'Jump Monk' with the Arnie Somogyi Small Band, and the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra in original and re-worked compositions of Monk plus brand new arrangements by special guest Trish Clowes. There is also the chance to hear exciting arrangements of Monk's early Blue Note recordings from senior students, adjudicated by Steve Cardenas, and a keynote speech by Monk biographer Professor Robin Kelley, who is Chair of the Department of African American Studies at the University of California in Los Angeles.