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All About Thelonious Monk


Few musicians have made such significant or unique contributions to the jazz lexicon as pianist-composer Thelonious Monk. 

Widely regarded as a genius composer of uncompromising creativity, his music is equally loved and feared by musicians for its wide intervals, angular melodies, and surprising rhythms, making it both difficult and rewarding to play. 

Learn more about Monk's legacy--and what he was like as a father--from his son, acclaimed musician T.S. Monk in this blog post.

Thelonious Monk’s contemporaries, peers, and acolytes considered him the ultimate individualist of his era. Birdland’s diminutive emcee, Pee Wee Marquette, customarily introduced him with the euphonious sobriquet, “the onliest Monk.” 

Watch an episode of "Notes from the Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame," in which saxophone colossus and Monk collaborator Sonny Rollins discusses what it was like to work with Monk:

J.J. Johnson cosigned and tweaked that descriptor on his 1999 album Heroes with a through-composed contrafact of Monk’s “Epistrophy” titled “Thelonious The Onliest.” 

Watch Chick Corea share a funny story about seeing Monk live at The Apollo Theater: 

Kenny Barron referenced it, too, on “The Only One,” uncannily refracting Monk’s essence on the title track of a 1990 trio album propelled by Ben Riley, Monk’s drummer of choice for much of the 1960s. Less enlightened folk derided Monk’s compositional and pianistic skills and his personal idiosyncrasies. But Monk stuck to his guns, convinced that the world would eventually catch on. He was right. Circa 2018, it is hard to find a serious jazz musician anywhere in the world who hasn’t heeded the call of Monk’s compositions.

Learn about rising star Russell Hall's connection to Monk:

Hear Sheila Jordan recall Monk hanging in her Manhattan apartment in this episode of Recollect: 

Rose Theater 2019-2020 season

Family Concert: Who is Chick Corea?

Learn all about pianist, composer, and living legend Chick Corea in a fun family show that will entertain and inspire you—whether you’re already jazz lovers or new to the scene. This hour-long program will feature live performances of Chick’s game-changing music and tell the inspiring story of a lifelong dreamer who has remained one of the most popular figures in music. Featuring trumpeter, former Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra member, and host Sean Jones as well as young pianists Sean Mason, Micah Thomas, and Tyler Henderson.