Thelonious Monk


San Diego weekend arts events: Queer Mvmnt Fest, 'New Native Narratives,' a tribute to Thelonious Monk and more

Local contemporary dance organization Disco Riot will present a packed weekend festival and showcase of works choreographed by, performed by and reflecting the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community. The festival includes dance film screenings, performances and dance workshops at several locations around town. Some highlights: "Queer partner salsa" dance lessons...
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Thelonious Monk Week

To enroll in Thelonious Monk Week, visit our registration site. If you have any questions about Thelonious Monk Week, please fill out our inquiry form. There is a once-yearly non-refundable $40 registration fee per family. There is a $20 fee per term for payment plans. No registration fee is charged...

Jimmy Owens Leads Tribute to Horace Silver and Thelonious Monk

Flushing Town Hall in Queens, New York, marks 15 years of an annual tradition with its November 12 concert “NEA Jazz Masters: The Music of Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver.” The performance will feature five NEA Jazz Masters: pianist Kenny Barron, vocalist Sheila Jordan, saxophonist Donald Harrison, drummer Billy Hart, and trumpeter Jimmy Owens (who is curating the concert). They will be joined by bassist Kenny Davis in a program that pays tribute to Monk and Silver, two of the music’s quintessential pianist/composers.

Thelonious Monk: the man and the myth

Looking at music in historical terms, there’s nothing like a centenary for focusing our attention. If someone like Thelonious Monk is still being talked about more than 100 years after his birth (10 October 1917), he must have been doing something right. Even if, at the time of his emergence, lots of seemingly knowledgeable observers thought he was doing it all wrong. That’s one of the themes that has been a constant in discussions about Monk, along with the theory that he was elusive, monosyllabic, difficult to work with and – in many people’s eyes – weird.

Thelonious Monk | Essential Albums

Thelonious Monk (p), Clark Terry (t) Sonny Rollins (ts), Ernie Henry (as), Oscar Pettiford, Paul Chambers, Tommy Potter (b), Max Roach and Art Taylor (d). Rec. 1954 and 1956. Today, musicians tackle Monk’s music with apparent ease to where it has now become repertory. But it wasn’t always like that. Back then, it really separated the men from the boys. Brilliant in both title and content this album may well be, but by all accounts it was a bitch to make. The title track being patched together, by producer Orrin Keepnews, from fragments of no less than 25 incomplete takes. But seemingly, the three separate sessions that were needed to actually complete the five original tracks were all fraught with tension and frustration. For instance only four tracks use horns: while Rollins appears on all four, Ernie Henry plays on three while Clark Terry is only heard on ‘Bemsha Swing’. To make up for a shortfall in time, an unaccompanied Monk slipped behind the keyboard to rework ‘I Surrender, Dear.’ Perhaps because this was far from being a conveyor belt blowing session, all the participants had to face up to what became a real challenge when not only getting to grips with the dangerous curves that beset the title track but also ‘Ba-Lue Bolivar BaLues-Are’ and ‘Pannonica’. Whatever the motivation, both Rollins and Henry seldom played better than right here. And the eventual outcome? One of the truly great indispensible albums. Do note, having slipped into the public domain in terms of copyright, versions of Brilliant Corners are mushrooming. The only difference between this release and the official reissue is the addition of three tracks taped two years earlier. Other than that, it has the same sleeve design and sleeve note. Roy Carr.

Best Thelonious Monk Pieces: 20 Jazz Classics

Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Thelonious Monk is undoubtedly one of the most important – and controversial – figures in the history of jazz. Although he was a trailblazer who pioneered a uniquely percussive approach to the piano and developed a peculiar musical language that some found difficult to understand, his greatest achievement was writing over 70 memorable songs, several of which became jazz standards.

Thelonious Monk: Brussels, 1963

I'm loving these newly colorized jazz videos on YouTube. The trend began earlier this year, and the number of videos being given the hue treatment keeps multiplying. I'm not sure how or why so many are getting this makeover (new software technology on the market?), but they certainly are more exciting and lively than the black and white originals. I loath the process for film, but for videos, the ear and brain somehow absorb more when the eye is delighted by color. Case in point: In March 1963, the Thelonious Monk Quartet performed in Brussels as part of a European tour. Here's an hour of the group in colorized tape...

Yasiin Bey is stepping away from the Thelonious Monk biopic for the best reason possible

In less than 24 hours, a gift to jazz fans across the world became cursed. Hours after news hit of Yasiin Bey returning to the silver screen to portray enigmatic jazz legend Thelonious Monk in the biopic Thelonious, Monk's estate condemned the film. Out of respect for the estate's wishes, Bey took to his personal Instagram account to announce he will not be participating in the film if the Monk family does not approve in a move that underscores the complexity of bringing a dead celebrity's story to life.

Yasiin Bey Says He Won’t Portray Thelonious Monk ‘If Monk Estate Is Not Happy’ With Film — and They’re Not

Yasiin Bey was announced as the star of a Thelonious Monk biopic on Wednesday, but as of Thursday, he appeared to be backing out the project in the wake of complaints coming from the late jazz great’s estate about the planned film. “If the Monk Estate is not happy with it, if Mr. Monk III is not happy with it, then neither am I,” said Bey, the actor and musician formerly known as Mos Def, on Instagram Thursday morning. “To be clear, I was given every indication by the production company that the family was on board. It was one of...

Yasiin Bey says he won’t play jazz legend Thelonious Monk in biopic since family disapproves

Yasiin Bey has said that he won’t play Thelonious Monk in a forthcoming biopic after learning that the late jazz musician’s family disapproves of the film. The artist, who was a successful child actor long before he found rap stardom, said in a new video that he was given “every indication” by the production company that Monk’s family were on board with the project.

Michaela Coel joins cast of Wakanda Forever; Yasiin Bey to play Thelonious Monk in biopic and more

Michaela Coel is officially headed to Wakanda, Variety has learned. The Emmy-nominated I May Destroy You star has joined the ensemble cast of the upcoming Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever. Details on her character have not be released. As previously reported, the film will focus on "furthering the mythology and the inspiration of Wakanda." While additional cast has not been confirmed, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong’o and Angela Bassett are expected to reprise their roles from the original film. Wakanda Forever hits theaters July 8, 2022.