2018 Piano Competition to take place December 2-3 in Washington, D.C.
Weekend Includes All-Star Gala Concert Honoring Jazz Legend Dee Dee Bridgewater and Special Tribute to Longtime Institute Supporter Aretha Franklin
Washington, D.C —The 30th Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Competition will be presented December 2-3 in Washington, DC. Open to musicians ages 30 and under from across the globe, this year’s competition will shine a spotlight on the piano.
The Semifinals of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition will be held on Sunday, December 2nd, from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Smithsonian Institution’s Baird Auditorium inside the National Museum of Natural History. The 14 semifinalists will compete before an all-star panel of judges that includes jazz pianists Monty Alexander, Joanne Brackeen, Cyrus Chestnut, Herbie Hancock, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez and Renee Rosnes. Each semifinalist will perform for 15 minutes, accompanied by Rodney Whitaker on bass and Carl Allen on drums.
From this group, the judges will select three finalists who will perform in the final round at The Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater on Monday evening, December 3rd. At stake is more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a $25,000 first place scholarship and guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group; a $15,000 second place scholarship; and a $10,000 third place scholarship.
Following the three finalists’ performances at the Competition Finals, an All-Star Gala Concert will include a special tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, who was an Institute supporter for more than two decades through her many performances and contributions to the Institute’s jazz education programs. NEA Jazz Master, multiple GRAMMY Award-winning vocalist, and Tony Award-winning actress Dee Dee Bridgewater will receive this year’s Maria Fisher Founder’s Award. The event will bring together major names in jazz, including past Competition winners and finalists Ambrose Akinmusire, Melissa Aldana, Kris Bowers, Jazzmeia Horn, Linda Oh, and Jamison Ross. They will be joined by John Beasley (Musical Director), Jimmy Heath, Ledisi, and others. Also performing will be the graduate-level college students who attend the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA. Additional talent will be announced shortly.
Proceeds from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition and All-Star Gala Concert will help fund the Institute’s public school education programs in Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Newark, San Francisco and the Mississippi Delta.
The Competition Semifinals on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 are free and open to the public. Doors will open at 11:00 a.m. and tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.