April 22, 2024

In the Presence of (future) Greatness

I’m heading to Washington D.C. to cheer on my young pal, the gifted 21 year-old pianist Emmett Cohen, compete as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Pianist Competition. The Monk Competition is a very big deal. It’s like the Olympics for jazz musicians.

Emmet is a very fine musician. You should check out his Emmet’s first CD, In the Element – available from Amazon.com and iTunes. Keep your eyes on this young man. He’s going to be something special!

Emmet and each of his competitors will be accompanied by one of my oldest friends, Carl Allen on drums and Rodney Whittaker on bass. Carl is not only one of the world’s most accomplished musicians, he is also an amazing educator currently serving as the Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at the Julliard School. Carl has participated in the Monk Competition for many years.

Emmet Cohen, the Great Roy Haynes, Gary Stager

Not only will Emmet be accompanied by world-class musicians and competing against the best jazz pianists of his generation, but the judges are some of the world’s greatest pianists – Herbie Hancock, Ellis Marsalis, Jason Moran, Danilo Perez and Renee Rosnes!

That all occurs on Sunday. Monday evening, the winners are announced at a gala concert featuring dozens of the world’s greatest jazz musicians, past Monk competition winners and Aretha Franklin! Check out the musicians scheduled to perform!

John Beasley
Gerald Clayton
Bill Cunliffe
Herbie Hancock
Eric Lewis
Ellis Marsalis
Jason Moran
Danilo Perez
Renee Rosnes
Ted Rosenthal
Helen Sung
Jacky Terrasson

Joey DeFrancesco

Ron Carter
Daryl Hall
Christian McBride
John Patitucci
Joe Sanders
Rodney Whitaker
Ben Williams

Carl Allen
Ronald Bruner
Terri Lyne Carrington
Sebastiaan DeKrom
TS Monk
Harold Summey

Seamus Blake
John Ellis
Jon Gordon
Jimmy Heath
Jon Irabagon
Godwin Louis
Joe Lovano
Wayne Shorter
Walter Smith

Ambrose Akinmusire
Terence Blanchard
Diego Urcola

Kevin Eubanks
Lionel Loueke
Lage Lund
Jesse Van Ruller

Andre Hayward

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Kurt Elling
Aretha Franklin
Roberta Gambarini
Sara Lazarus
Cecile McLorin Salvant
Jane Monheit
Gretchen Parlato
Dianne Reeves

Sean Thomas

James Westfall