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Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz presents International Piano Competition & All-Star Gala Concert Hosted by Blair Underwood

Monday, December 3, 2018 7:30 PM

The 2018 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition will feature gifted young pianists competing for major scholarships and a recording contract with Concord Music Group.

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Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
Celebrating America’s musical heritage with Washington, D.C.’s most beloved jazz tradition.


The 2018 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition will feature gifted young pianists competing for major scholarships and a recording contract with Concord Music Group. Hosted by Blair Underwood, the evening will culminate with an All-Star Gala Concert with Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock and a stellar cast of artists paying tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, with legendary vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater receiving the Institute’s Maria Fisher Founder’s Award.

For 30 years, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition has been at the forefront of launching the careers of some of today’s most accomplished musicians.

Considered the most prestigious jazz competition in the world and an influential platform for expanding America’s most treasured musical art form, the Competition is one of the highest-profile programs of the Institute and the jazz world. Three gifted young musicians will be selected from 14 semifinalists to perform in the competition finals for an illustrious panel of jazz masters—Monty Alexander, Joanne Brackeen, Cyrus Chestnut, Herbie Hancock, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez, and Renee Rosnes. The Competition offers the audience the unique opportunity to see and hear the next generation of jazz masters. The winners receive more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a guaranteed recording contract from Concord Music Group.

As a part of the evening, the Institute will present the highly anticipated All-Star Gala Concert paying tribute to music icon and longtime Institute supporter Aretha Franklin. The concert will feature performances by Ambrose Akinmusire, Melissa Aldana, Kris Bowers, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jimmy Heath, Jazzmeia Horn, Ledisi, Linda Oh, Jamison Ross, Musical Director John Beasley, and many more to be announced. 

Performance Timing: 120 minutes, with no intermission.

“The Monk Competition…is widely recognized as the most prestigious of its kind for jazz, and an important boost to young careers.” (The New York Times)