Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz To Host The 2008 International Jazz Competition

October 26th, 2008
5:00 PM
Kodak Theatre
Hollywood, CA

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has announced that, for the second year in a row, the finals of its 2008 International Jazz Competition will take place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. This year’s event will be Oct. 26.

The 2008 competition will be devoted to saxophone players, with the semifinals taking place at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall on Oct. 25. The judges include Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath and Joshua Redman (1991 competition winner).

A $20,000 scholarship will be awarded to the winner, and $10,000 and $5,000 scholarships to the second- and third-place finishers.

The Monk Institute also has announced a partnership with the Concord Music Group in which, for the first time in the competition’s 21-year history, the winner will receive a recording contract. Concord will release the CD in 2009.

More About The Competition:

Since 1987, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has presented the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. Each year, more than $60,000 in scholarships and prizes are awarded to talented young musicians and composers. The scholarships help pay tuition for college-level jazz education studies and provide funds for private, specialized instruction. The competition focuses on a different instrument every year and features an outstanding all-star judging panel.

The competition is internationally recognized as the most significant event for identifying and launching the careers of young aspiring jazz artists. The accomplishments of Joshua Redman, winner of the 1991 saxophone competition, are unprecedented in the jazz world. Josh signed with Warner Bros. Records, released a series of #1 Billboard albums, and was named Down Beat Artist of the Year in 1994.

Marcus Roberts, winner of the 1987 piano competition, released numerous #1 albums on the jazz charts and served as Artistic Director of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Ryan Kisor, winner of the 1990 trumpet competition, and Joey DeFrancesco, a finalist in the 1987 piano competition, signed with Columbia and both have released a number of Billboard chart topping recordings. The 1993 piano competition winner, Jacky Terrasson, signed with Blue Note Records and has released numerous CDs to immense critical acclaim.

The late Teri Thornton, winner of the 1998 vocals competition, signed with Verve Records; second place winner Jane Monheit signed with Columbia and has produced numerous chart topping albums; and semifinalist Tierney Sutton signed with Telarc. Dozens of other semifinalists have forged successful careers as jazz performers and educators.

Since 1993, the winner of the annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition has been announced at the competition finals. The winner receives a $10,000 grand prize award and the opportunity to perform the winning composition. The Composers Award is presented to a composer who best demonstrates originality, creativity and excellence in jazz composition. The 2007 winner was Petros Sakelliou of Greece, whose winning composition “Swingalong” was performed at the 2007 Competition Finals.

Each year the competition receives an extraordinary amount of publicity and press coverage in a variety of publications from The New York Times and The Washington Post to People magazine. The competition is covered by the major networks, as well as radio and interactive media. In addition, National Public Radio has presented one-hour specials on past competitions that have reached 20 million listeners.

Hosts of these special programs have included Bill Cosby, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Branford Marsalis, Thelonious Monk, Jr., and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Each year since 1999, Black Entertainment Television and BET J have produced and broadcast a documentary about the competition, featuring performance clips and interviews with the contestants and judges.

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