October 10, 2010, 7:30 - 9:00 pm (Seating at 7 pm)

Tribute to Thelonious Monk

Tickets: Free to students and the public

St. John's College in Santa Fe in the Great Hall, Peterson Student Center
Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Sphere Monk was one of the leading innovators of bebop and one of the most unique voices in the history of jazz. Born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in 1917, Monk moved with his family to New York City when only four years old. By his teen years he was performing around New York and in the early 1940s was the house pianist at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem. The late-night jam sessions held at Minton's during this time were a testing ground for the new jazz style known as bebop, and Monk's novel approach to harmony and rhythm exerted a strong influence on the musicians there. Monk led his own groups from the late 1940s until the early 1970s, when he largely stopped playing music, and passed away in 1982.

The music of Thelonious Monk holds a special place in the jazz repertoire. While he was a critical personality in the development of bebop, Monk's playing and compositions did not fit smoothly into the typical bebop model. In spite of its advanced harmony and disjointed rhythmic approach, his personal piano style shows perhaps more similarity to the earlier stride pianists than the fluid melodic lines of such beboppers as Charlie Parker and Bud Powell. His compositions also show his unique take on jazz. Pieces like "Trinkle Tinkle" and "Evidence" have the same harmonic boldness and rhythmic complexity as his playing, while works like "Round Midnight" demonstrate that he could write in a more accessible and typically beautiful style when the mood struck him. Truly, no retrospective of the great composers and piano players in jazz could be considered complete without Thelonious Monk, and the Tribute Trio welcomes the chance to perform his music.