In My Mind: Thelonious Monk at Town Hall 1959 

WHEN:
VENUE:
Bing Concert Hall
Configuration: End Stage



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Jazz virtuoso Jason Moran, winner of a MacArthur “Genius” award and currently the Kennedy Center’s artistic director for jazz, took up piano because of Thelonious Monk. Moran, who is reimagining Monk’s historic 1959 Town Hall concert at the Bing, says Monk is “the most important musician, period. In all the world, period.” In this centenary year of Monk’s birth, Moran evokes the concert’s breakaway excitement via an in-depth media show, and with his 10-piece Big Bandwagon he explores Monk’s roots and impact.

Acknowledgements

Generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts

Video

I was at SFJAZZ in 2007 when that organization commissioned and premiered In My Mind. It was an inspiring experience to be behind the scenes as Jason came to grips with his musical hero Thelonious Monk in two concerts, first recreating and then reimagining the famed 1959 Town Hall concert. The final result was a thrilling synthesis of image and music. Starting as homage, In My Mind takes that giant specter of influence and transforms it into Moran’s own multi-layered story of musical innovation and social critique."

 

—Laura Evans, Director of Engagement and Public Programs