Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to be Renamed in 2019

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Herbie Hancock (left) and Igor Butman shake hands after their performance during the International Jazz Day 2015 Global Concert at UNESCO on April 30, 2015, in Paris, France.

(Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced Wednesday that it will be called the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz beginning Jan. 1, 2019, according to a press release.

“Having the institute named in my honor is tremendously humbling and represents a profound moment for my family and me,” Hancock said in the release. “I’m looking forward to continuing in my role as institute chairman and carrying on and expanding the organization’s important worldwide jazz education and humanitarian initiatives.”

DownBeat Publisher Frank Alkyer is a member of the institute’s advisory board.

According to the release, the “decision was made following a request by representatives of the Monk Estate regarding the continued use of Thelonious Monk’s name.”

The organization’s competition, which was founded in 1987, is set to hold the 30th iteration of the event Dec. 2–3 in Washington, D.C., following a two-year hiatus. Judges for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition—pianists Hancock, Monty Alexander, Joanne Brackeen, Cyrus Chestnut, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez and Renee Rosnes—will evaluate performances by 14 competitors, who will be accompanied by Rodney Whitaker on bass and Carl Allen on drums, to select three finalists. The first-place finisher will take home a $25,000 scholarship and a contract with the Concord Music Group. Second and third place finishers will be awarded $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

The organization plans to keep its board of trustees in place, according to the release, and staff located in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles is not expected to change. The institute’s partnership with the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to provide a two-year, full scholarship to the master’s jazz program also is set to continue.

Past winners of the competition include Marcus Roberts, Joshua Redman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jon Irabagon, Jazzmeia Horn, Marquis Hill and Melissa Aldana.

For additional information about the competition, visit its homepage. DB



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July 2019
Anat Cohen
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