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Tribute to the Great American Songbook Gala Concert
(Published: September 15, 2010)

2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Gala Concert Featuring All-Star Tribute to Great American Songbook at Kennedy Center October 4

Aretha Franklin to receive 2010 Maria Fisher Founder's Award

Washington, D.C.-The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz today announced the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Tribute to the Great American Songbook Gala Concert will take place at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 4. The 2010 Competition is made possible through generous support from the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Air transportation is provided by United Airlines, the Official Airline of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

A special feature of this year's Competition, the Tribute to the Great American Songbook Gala Concert will bring together the biggest names in jazz, including Terence Blanchard, Terri Lyne Carrington, George Duke, Kevin Eubanks, Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, T.S. Monk, Wayne Shorter, and many others. The concert will shine a spotlight on some of the most beloved songs and songwriters of all time.

President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama will serve as the Honorary Chairs of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Tribute to the Great American Songbook Gala Concert.

The Gala Concert will honor the incomparable Aretha Franklin. Ranked #1 by Rolling Stone magazine on its list of "The Greatest Singers of All Time" and one of the most honored GRAMMY winners with 20 awards to date, Franklin will be presented with the 2010 Maria Fisher Founder's Award in honor of her longtime support of jazz, music education, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The award honors individuals who have made valuable contributions to jazz and jazz education. Past recipients include Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Bruce Lundvall, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, George Wein, and Clint Eastwood.

The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, often compared in stature to classical music's International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, is widely regarded as the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. Each year, the competition features a different musical instrument, and major scholarships and prizes are awarded to talented young musicians. Over the past 23 years, the competition has launched the careers of a number of major jazz stars including Joshua Redman, Jane Monheit, Marcus Roberts, Tierney Sutton, and Joey DeFrancesco. These artists and dozens of others from past competitions have forged successful careers as performing and recording artists, as well as music educators, helping to preserve and perpetuate America's legacy of jazz.

The 2010 Competition will feature jazz vocals. Twelve of the world's most outstanding young jazz vocalists have been selected to compete before a panel of jazz greats including Patti Austin,
Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, and Dianne Reeves. Three finalists will then vie for scholarships and prizes totaling over $100,000 including a $20,000 first place scholarship and guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group, a $10,000 second place scholarship, and a $5,000 third place scholarship.

The 12 semifinalists are: Cyrille Aimée, Fontainebleau, France; Barbara Bürkle, Stuttgart, Germany; Lisa Gary, Great Neck, New York; Alexandra Isley, Los Angeles, California; Dana Lauren, Hartford, Connecticut; Tatiana Mayfield, Fort Worth, Texas; Ashton Nickolas Moore, Detroit, Michigan; Cécile McLorin Salvant, Miami, Florida; Richard Saunders, Simsbury, Connecticut; Charenée Wade, Brooklyn, New York; Kalil Wilson, Oakland, California; and Sarah Marie Young, Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Semifinals of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition will be held at
1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 3 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. Three finalists will be selected to perform with a group of jazz all-stars at Monday's Kennedy Center concert, followed by the awards announcement.

The October 4th Competition Finals and Gala Concert at the Kennedy Center will also feature the winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Competition, sponsored by BMI. This year's winner is Vadim Neselovskyi of Ukraine, who will perform his winning composition, "Grust" (Sadness). The Composers Competition carries a prize of $10,000 and is presented to a composer who best demonstrates originality, creativity, and excellence in jazz composition.

Proceeds from the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Tribute to the Great American Songbook Gala Concert will help fund public school jazz and blues education programs throughout Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Delta.

The Competition and Gala Concert will be taped as a documentary for BET/Centric television. The documentary will include performance clips and interviews with the contestants and judges.

Editors please note:

Event and ticket information

Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition Semifinals
Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.

National Museum of the American Indian, 4th St. & Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC

Tickets are free of charge and will be distributed by the Smithsonian Associates at the National Museum of the American Indian on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition Finals and Tribute to the Great American Songbook Gala Concert

Monday, October 4, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW, Washington, DC

Tickets are $35-$75 and may be purchased via the Kennedy Center box office in person, by calling 800.444.1324, or online at www.kennedy-center.org. Information regarding VIP packages, which include admission to the post-event VIP Cast Party, is available from the Institute at 202.364.7272 x107 or gala@monkinstitute.org.

More Information: http://monkinstitute.org


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