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Friday, December 07, 2007

Monk Institute winners

The Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College

Jazz In Progress/Monk In Motion - The Next Face Of Jazz
Presenting, In Concert, The Top Three Finalists
In The 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition:

Jean Caze (2nd place) - November 26
Ambrose Akinmusire (winner) - One week from today - December 10 @ 7:00 PM
Michael Rodriguez (3rd place) - December 17

(Fall/Winter, 2007) The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute, proudly presents Jazz In Progress/Monk In Motion: The Next Face Of Jazz, featuring in concert the top three finalists, Ambrose Akinmusire (pronounced ah-KIN-moo-SEE-ray) (Oakland, CA), Jean Caze (Haiti) and Michael Rodriguez (Queens, NY), of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, now celebrating its 21st anniversary. This year the competition will feature jazz trumpeters, with the semi-finalists performing before a legendary panel of judges including Quincy Jones, Herb Alpert, Terence Blanchard, Hugh Masekela, Clark Terry and Roy Hargrove at Schoenberg Hall on the University of California, Los Angeles Campus from 1:00-5:00 PM PST on October 27, 2007.

Each of the three concerts of the Jazz In Progress-Monk In Motion Series will feature one finalist leading their ensemble, demonstrating the perpetually diverse nature of jazz, and showcasing three of the plethora of exciting, young trumpeters making jazz their life's work. Tickets are $25 General Admission, $15 Students & Seniors. To order tickets and for additional information click on www.tribecapac.org or call the box office at 212 220 1460. The Tribeca Performing Arts Center is located at 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007.

Press inquiries should be directed to Jason Paul Harman Byrne at Red Cat Publicity, tel 347 578 7601, email Redcatpublicity@aol.com.

Jazz In Progress-Monk In Motion Concert Schedule:

Monday, November 26 at 7:00 PM - Jean Caze
Monday, December 10 at 7:00 PM - Ambrose Akinmusire
Monday, December 17 at 7:00 PM - Michael Rodriguez

Monday, December 10 at 7:00 PM - Ambrose Akinmusire with Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone), Chris Dingman (vibes), Aaron Parks (piano), Joe Sanders (bass), Justin Brown (drums)
Ambrose's conceptual extension into a new musical language is never to the exclusion of beauty. As one who listens intently, he values the fertility of a pause, of communication, of tension. He draws inspiration from such musicians as Bjork and Chopin. Ambrose's music restructures accepted notions of jazz in a way that reflects his ability to recognize nuances, multiplicities, and patterns.

Akinmusire, raised in Oakland, CA, first started playing piano at the age of three, becoming familiar with music began long before putting his mouth to a trumpet. He is relentlessly opposed to stagnation, seeking movement in both his music and his life. Before he was eighteen, Ambrose had already performed with such famed musicians as Joe Henderson, Joshua Redman, Steve Coleman, and Billy Higgins. After graduating Berkeley High School, he moved to New York to begin a full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Vincent Pinzerella from the New York Philharmonic, Dick Oatts, Lew Soloff, and Laurie Frink. Throughout his studies, Ambrose continued to tether audiences to his concepts and his sound, performing publicly with Lonnie Plaxico, Stefon Harris, Josh Roseman, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Persip, the Mingus Big Band, and the San Francisco Jazz Collective, to name only a few.

Currently in a Masters program at USC, and a recent graduate of the Monk Institute, Ambrose's instructors have included Terence Blanchard, Billy Childs and Gary Grant. In the past year, he has worked with such artists as Jimmy Heath, Jason Moran, Hal Crook, Bob Hurst, Terri Lynne Carrington, Ron Carter, and Wallace Roney, and performed in Vietnam with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

As for a conclusion, there is none. Ambrose's musical trajectory continues to grow in more than one direction, drawing from the most unconventional sources and unraveling the most comfortable conceptions of limitation, persistently aspiring to evolution and beauty.

Monday, December 17 at 7:00 PM - Michael Rodriguez with Robert Rodriguez (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Clarence Penn (drums)
Trumpeter/composer, Michael Rodriguez was born on July 14, 1979 in Queens, New York. Like his brother Robert, Michael was inspired to pursue music as a career by his father, who is the drummer, Roberto Rodriguez. Rodriguez studied at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, and continued his studies at the University of Miami, transfering to the New School in New York after two years. He has performed and toured with Eric Reed, Clark Terry, Bobby Watson, Quincy Jones, Joe Lovano, Toshiko Akiyoshi Orchestra, Pop Icon Jessica Simpson, Chico O'Farill Orchestra, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and is a member of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra. The trumpeter has also performed and traveled with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Carla Bley, Harry Conick Jr., Bob Mintzer, Eddie Palmieri Septet and The Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra. In December of 2003 Michael recorded on Charlie Haden's Grammy award winning recording album featuring Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Joe Lovano entitled ¨Land of the Sun,¨ and Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra's latest album entitled "Not in Our Name." Rodriguez is currently a member of Gonzalo Rubalcaba's new quintet and has toured and recorded on his new album on the Blue Note label, due out this fall.

Michael and his brother, pianist Robert Rodriguez, have recorded two albums together "Introducing the Rodriguez Brothers" and their most recent album on the Savant label, "Conversations." He also performs workshops and clinics around the country and is involved with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Education Department.

The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition is the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. Each year the institute attracts the brightest young jazz talent in the world to compete for a series of scholarships. The semi-final round (on October 27) is FREE and open to the public. On Sunday night, the top three finalists will have one more opportunity to perform before the judges and compete for the chance to become the winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and a $20,000 scholarship. The second place winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship and the third place winner will receive a scholarship for $5,000. An all-star tribute to Herbie Hancock will immediately follow.

Since 1987, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has presented the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. Each year, more than $60,000 in scholarships and prizes are awarded to talented young musicians and composers. The scholarships help pay tuition for college-level jazz education studies and provide funds for private, specialized instruction. The competition focuses on a different instrument every year and features an outstanding all-star judging panel. Branford Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, Marian McPartland, and Diana Krall have all served as judges at past competitions.

The Institute has presented competitions for piano, bass, drums, hand drums, saxophone, trumpet, guitar, vocals and trombone. In September 2006, the competition once again showcased piano, in celebration of the Institute's 20th Anniversary, with the semifinals taking place at the Smithsonian Institution's Baird Auditorium and the finals at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater.

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