Washington, D.C. will be the world center of jazz when the prestigious 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition comes to town on September 15th and 16th. The Competition, established in 1987 and recognized for discovering the next generation of jazz masters, will feature fourteen of the world’s most outstanding young jazz saxophonists. They will perform before a panel of renowned jazz musicians including Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis and Wayne Shorter.
The semifinals will be held on Sunday, September 16 from noon to 6:00 pm at the Smithsonian Institute’s Baird Auditorium inside the National Museum of American History. Each competitor will perform for 15 minutes. Three musicians will be selected by the panel of judges to participate in the competition finals at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater at 7:30 pm on Monday, September 16. They will vie for prizes totaling more than $100,000 including a $25,000 first place scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group, a $15,000 second place scholarship and a $10,000 third place scholarship.
An All-Star Gala Concert will follow the final competition. Some of the biggest names in jazz will perform, including Brian Blade, Kurt Elling, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis and Take 6, to name just a few. The Institute will present Wayne Shorter with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his extraordinary, six-decade career as a saxophonist, educator and composer. There will be a special tribute to the late George Duke, a longtime friend and supporter of the Institute, who was scheduled to serve as the evening’s Musical Director.
Doug Moody, Senior Vice President/Director of Sales, and Deborah Moody, Social Media Manager, will attend all the competition events, representing North Coast Brewing Company, a Benefactor Sponsor of the Monk Institute. The arrangement between the Monk Institute and NCBC is a model for commerce meeting arts. For every case of Brother Thelonious sold, NCBC makes a financial contribution to the Institute. Over the last six years, NCBC has donated more than $500,000 to the Institute in support of jazz education.
Photos top to bottom: Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, George Duke and Branford Marsalis