Two generations of piano artistry celebrate the legacy of Thelonious Monk, featuring 2018 NEA Jazz Master recipient Joanne Brackeen, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Piano Competition winner Helen Sung, and DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star Piano winner Kris Davis.
The first female member of Art Blakey’s star-making Jazz Messengers, Brackeen is among the most virtuosic pianists to emerge in the post-bop era, performing with the likes of Dexter Gordon, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, and Stan Getz before stepping out as a leader in the early 1970s. She’s recorded 22 albums as a leader for the Concord, Timeless, and Arkadia labels. A multiple award winning pianist, Sung has recorded a half-dozen albums and worked with the Mingus Big Band, Clark Terry, Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project, and appropriately, the “Monk on Monk” Tentet led by Thelonious Monk’s son, drummer T.S. Monk. She was the pianist for the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. Davis was dubbed one of the music’s top up-and-comers in a 2012 article in The New York Times titled “New Pilots at the Keyboard.” To date, Davis has released ten recordings as leader. Her 2016 release, Duopoly, made The New York Times, Pop Matters, NPR, Los Angeles Times, and JazzTimes best albums of 2016.