Following Monk: A 20-Event Festival From September 15 through October 30


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Duke Performances, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will present FOLLOWING MONK, a twenty-event festival taking place over six weeks and celebrating the 90th birthday of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/pianist Thelonious Monk.

FOLLOWING MONK - running September 15 through October 30, 2007 - offers three world premieres, special concert events (including the Kronos Quartet, Hank Jones/Charlie Haden, Charles Tolliver and his orchestra, Jason Moran, Jessica Williams and many others), commentaries and master classes, and a four-day Following Monk Institute exploring the genius of the jazz legend and his heritage in the small eastern North Carolina towns of Rocky Mount and Newton Grove.

October 4 - 7, 2007
The Center for Documentary Studies

The Following Monk Institute, October 4-7, 2007, at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, will investigate and celebrate the North Carolina roots of Thelonious Monk's family and music in commemoration of his 90th birthday. Highlights of the institute will include guided tours of Monk's birthplace in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and the Newton Grove plantation where his ancestors were slaves and where relatives still live today.

The Following Monk Institute is a rare opportunity to tour sites of Monk's early life and heritage and the geography of eastern North Carolina. Led by Sam Stephenson, director of the Jazz Loft Project at the Center for Documentary Studies, participants will have the unique experience of hearing from some of Monk's family members--Duke neurobiologist Erich Jarvis and educators Pam Monk Kelley and Gaston Monk--about their extensive research on the family tree, and from Monk's son, T.S. Monk, about the relationship between the family and Monk's music. Participants will also hear from historians and musicians who will discuss the cultural and musical significance of Monk's North Carolina heritage. Speakers will include Monk's last saxophonist and family friend, Paul Jeffrey, and Georgetown University's Maurice Jackson, who will explore the links between Monk's music and spirituals and rural church music. Renowned pianist Henry Butler will also present an exclusive concert based on the same topic. Guggenheim Award-winning poet Betty Adcock will read a poem, commissioned for this event as a tribute to the role of Monk's mother, his wife Nellie, and other women in his life. There will also be a special celebration of Monk's 90th birthday in Rocky Mount, a reception and concert, held in conjunction with the City of Rocky Mount.

The institute will include an exclusive presentation of sounds and images of Monk's 1959 Town Hall rehearsals that took place in the New York loft of Hall Overton and photographer W. Eugene Smith, whose obsessive photo and audio documentation provides profound new glimpses of the complexities of Monk and his music. This is a first-time preview of a major project at the Center for Documentary Studies, involving the exploration and documentation of rich untold stories of the after-hours New York jazz scene in the late 1950s to mid-1960s as seen through encounters in Smith's loft.

In addition to lectures and presentations, the registration fee of the Following Monk Institute includes a Thursday evening cocktail reception and a concert with Henry Butler, Friday and Saturday lunches and snack breaks, guided tours/bus trips to Newton Grove and Rocky Mount, a Saturday evening cocktail reception and jazz concert at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, and Sunday Jazz Loft brunch.

Course ID: 11187
Course fee: $565 (scholarships available by application).

Registration for the institute will begin by *July 31, 2007*. You will need the course ID: 11187.

To register, call Duke Continuing Studies at 919-684-6259, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or click here.

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