Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Presents Annual Competition and Gala September 22-23 in DC

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Presents Annual Competition and Gala September 22-23 in DC

The 25th annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and "Women, Music and Diplomacy" All-Star Gala Concert will be presented by the world-renowned Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, in partnership with Cadillac, this year's Presenting Sponsor, on September 22-23. Through the competition and its numerous educational programs, the Institute is committed to identifying and training the world's leading young jazz musicians who will preserve the traditions of jazz while expanding the music in new directions.

"Cadillac and the Thelonious Monk Institute are a natural fit," said Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of marketing. "As Cadillac expands and elevates itself around the world, we're proud to join the Monk Institute to celebrate this great American art form and its global cultural impact."

Open to musicians under age 30 from across the globe, this year's competition will shine the spotlight on the drums. Twelve semifinalists will compete at the Smithsonian Institution on Saturday afternoon, September 22. From this group, the judges will select three finalists who will perform in the final round at the Kennedy Center on Sunday evening, September 23. At stake is more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes, including a $25,000 first place scholarship and guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group. This year's competition judges include a distinguished panel of drummers: Carl AllenBrian BladeTerri Lyne CarringtonJimmy CobbPeter Erskine, and Ben Riley.

The evening also will feature a star-studded "Women, Music and Diplomacy" Gala honoring former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with the Institute's 2012 Maria Fisher Founder's Award. UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova will deliver remarks about the successes of the newly established International Jazz Day, celebrated annually on April 30th, and will address the role of jazz as a diplomatic force in uniting people around the world.

The Gala will highlight the contributions of women in jazz over the past century. Under the musical direction of George Duke, special musical segments featuring a multi-generational group of all-stars will be performed in tribute to artists including Lena Horne, Anita O'Day, Mary Lou Williams and Ella Fitzgerald. Performers will include Geri AllenPatti AustinJane Ira BloomRandy BreckerJames CarterVinnie ColaiutaClaire DalyAkua DixonNnenna FreelonRoberta Gambarini, James Genus, Jimmy HeathIngrid Jensen, Mark O'Connor, Linda OhGretchen ParlatoLee RitenourAda Rovatti and Wayne Shorter, along with special guests Aretha Franklin and Chris Botti. The evening's hosts will include Tipper GoreHerbie HancockHelen MirrenThelonious Monk Jr., and Billy Dee Williams.

"The Institute is honored to have Cadillac as our Presenting Sponsor again this year. Cadillac is the perfect match for the Institute, our jazz competition, and annual gala because jazz and Cadillac are both enduring, iconic, innovative and uniquely American brands. Their support has been critical to our success and had helped us bring jazz to millions of people across the country. We are grateful to the Cadillac family for believing in our mission to perpetuate jazz and offer it to the citizens of the world through education and performance," said Tom Carter, Thelonious Monk Institute President.