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Ellis Marsalis, T. S. Monk, Kidd Jordan, and the Jordan Family of Jazz honors Thelonious Monk

SYLVAIN MUSIC NOTES - New Orleans’ jazz patriarch Kidd Jordan and the Jordan Family of Jazz; Marlon Jordan, considered one of the best trumpeters in the world; older brother Kent Jordan, a highly regarded flutist; Stephanie Jordan, whom critics have placed in the company of Nancy Wilson and Shirley Horn;  and Rachel Jordan, an classical violinist and music instructor at Jackson State University performs  as featured artists at the "For the Fathers of Jazz" concert in honor of jazz legend Thelonius Monk. 

The event takes place at the Progressive Energy Center, Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh, NC on Friday, June 18th at 7:00 PM. 

The "For the Fathers of Jazz" inaugural concert also features Ellis Marsalis, and T.S. Monk, the son Thelonious Monk.  The patriarchs and their families will be performing original music honoring Thelonius Monk:

The Ellis Marsalis Quartet; "An Open Letter to Thelonius..."

The Jordan Family of Jazz (Marlon, Kent, Rachel, and Stephanie Jordan) and The Kidd Jordan Quartet; "Gray Green Monk"

The T. S. Monk Sextet; "Monk on Monk" (A Special Son's tribute to his Father)

The elder Monk (1917-1982) is recognized as one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz. Along with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and a handful of others, Monk was one of the architects of bebop and his impact as a composer and pianist has had a profound influence on every genre of music.

"During his lifetime, Monk received numerous awards and he continues to be honored posthumously. The Smithsonian Institution has immortalized Monk's work with an archive of his music. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp in his honor. A feature documentary on Monk's life, Straight, No Chaser, was released to critical acclaim . . ."

Indie Jazz aptly describes saxophonist Sir Edward "Kidd" Jordan as a "genteel man" who is "probably the single most under-documented jazz musician of his generation, a fact that is even more remarkable when you consider that he is also one of the busiest musicians in the world."  The list of bands and artists Jordan has performed with reads like a 40-year Grammy program, from Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder to Aretha Franklin and the Supremes. And the list of jazz musicians he has performed with is even longer, from Ed Blackwell and Ellis Marsalis to Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley and Cecil Taylor."

Kidd Jordan’s work has been documented by CBS News 60 Minutes and he was honored with Offbeat magazine’s first Lifetime Achievement Award for Music Education.  In 1985 the French Ministry of Culture bestowed knighthood on Mr. Jordan as a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the French government’s highest artistic award for his work as an educator and performer.  In 2008 Mr. Jordan was also named a Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the Vision Festival XIII in New York City. The virtuoso unselfishly shared his gift of and passion for music for 51 years, 36 of which he spent at Southern University at New Orleans where he headed the University’s jazz program. 

Ellis Marsalis is regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans.  Ellis Marsalis has been a major influence in jazz for nearly 50 years. He has played with fellow modernists including Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, and Al Hirt, becoming one of the most respected pianists in jazz. Though he has recorded almost twenty of his own albums, and was featured on many discs with such jazz greats as David "Fathead" Newman, Eddie Harris, Marcus Roberts, and Courtney Pine, he shunned the spotlight to focus on teaching.

As a leading educator at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana, Ellis has influenced the careers of countless musicians, including Terence Blanchard, Harry Connick Jr., Nicholas Payton; as well as his four musician sons: Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason.

In 2007 Marsalis received an honorary doctorate from Tulane University for his contributions to jazz and musical education; in 2008 he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music at Musicians' Village in New Orleans is named in honor of Ellis Marsalis.

T. S. Monk (born Thelonious Sphere Monk, III, December 27, 1949, New York) is a jazz drummer, composer, bandleader and the son of jazz musician Thelonious Monk.  He began his music career early in his life, honing his skills throughout the 1970s. Monk's destiny was sealed when Max Roach gave him his first drum set, before the age of ten. After graduating from high school, the young Monk joined his father's trio and toured with his dad until the elder Monk's retirement in 1975.  Monk then launched a career in R&B. 

Shortly after his father’s death in 1982, T.S. honored his father's legacy by turning his attention toward forming the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz; focused on creating music education for students in the form of full scholarships.  .

T. S. received the New York Jazz Awards First Annual "Recording of the Year" award and 'Downbeat's' prestigious 63rd annual Album of the year Reader's Choice Award for "Monk On Monk". "Monk on Monk" is the "80th Anniversary Birthday Tribute to Thelonious Sphere Monk" featuring 20 guest artists including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Arturo Sandoval, Dianne Reeves, Nnenna Freelon, and Howard Johnson, among others.

By the 1990s, Monk was ready to begin his solo career, in which he has taken a decidedly more jazz-oriented direction. For two consecutive seasons, December 1996 and January 1998, on ABC, jazz returned to network television after a twenty-five year absence. Sponsored by Nissan and The Thelonious Monk Institute, under the guidance of T.S. Monk and Tom Carter, an historic assemblage of artists gathered for 'A Celebration Of America's Music' hosted by Bill Cosby and featuring Natalie Cole, Jon Secada, Tony Bennett, K.D. Lang, as well as Thelonious performing his father's signature tune, "'Round Midnight", with Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and Nnenna Freelon.

The concert is presented by the Cultural American Music's Education Organization (CAMEO), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that catalyzes music education into academic excellence through motivational initiatives in schools. CAMEO focus on promoting jazz as America's National Treasure in under-privileged schools nationwide.

For ticket information, please visit www.abcameo.org or www.progressenergycenter.com.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Stephanie Jordan
  • Press Release Date: 6/18/2010
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