Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thelonius Monk International Jazz Piano Competition

2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition
and 20th Anniversary Gala Concert
Hosted by Quincy Jones, Phylicia Rashad, and Billy Dee Williams

As part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration weekend, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will present the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and 20th Anniversary Gala Concert in Washington, DC on September 16-17, 2006. The Competition will showcase the talents of 10 of the world’s most gifted, young jazz pianists.

The Semifinals will be held on Saturday, September 16th at 1:00 p.m. at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium (10th Street & Constitution Avenue NW).

The Finals will be held on Sunday, September 17th at 7:00 p.m. in the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. This year's young aspiring jazz pianists will perform for an illustrious panel of judges, including renowned jazz pianists Kenny Barron, Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Hank Jones, Danilo Perez, Renee Rosnes, and Billy Taylor. Bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Carl Allen will accompany the finalists.

Following the three finalists, the audience will be treated to a special performance of the winning composition of the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition, sponsored by BMI.

The second half of the Competition finals will feature performances by some of the greatest jazz artists on the scene today, including Patti Austin, Terence Blanchard, Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, T.S. Monk, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Arturo Sandoval, and Wayne Shorter, as well as past Competition winners saxophonist Joshua Redman and vocalist Jane Monheit. Keyboardist and producer George Duke will serve as the Musical Director.

Tickets for the September 16th Semifinals are free of charge and will be distributed at Baird Auditorium by the Smithsonian Associates (202.357.3030) on a first-come, first-served basis beginning 90 minutes prior to the 1:00 p.m. starting time. Tickets for the September 17th Finals at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater may be purchased at the Kennedy Center box office, by calling Instant Charge at 202.467.4600 or online at For information about Gala tickets, which include a VIP post-performance dinner and cast party, please call the Institute at 202.364.7272.

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