Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk
Pianist ~ Composer
birth name: Thelonious Sphere Monk

Thelonious Monk

October 10, 1917, Rocky Mount, NC ~ February 17, 1982, Weehawken, NJ

“Be-bop wasn't developed in any deliberate way.” ~ Thelonious Monk

Recognized as one of the most inventive pianists of any musical genre, Monk achieved a startlingly original sound that even his most devoted followers have been unable to successfully imitate. His musical vision was both ahead of its time and deeply rooted in tradition, spanning the entire history of the music from the “stride” masters of James P. Johnson and Willie “the Lion” Smith to the tonal freedom and kinetics of the “avant garde.” And he shares with Edward “Duke” Ellington the distinction of being one of the century’s greatest American composers. At the same time, his commitment to originality in all aspects of life - in fashion, in his creative use of language and economy of words, in his biting humor, even in the way he danced away from the piano - has led fans and detractors alike to call him “eccentric,” “mad” or even “taciturn.” Consequently, Monk has become perhaps the most talked about and least understood artist in the history of jazz. ~ All about Jazz: Thelonious Monk ~ retrieved October 8, 2013 © All About Jazz

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October 10, 2009 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (6) Miley Cyrus, Party In The U.S.A. ~ #2 (3) Jay Sean featuring Lil Wayne, Down ~ #1 (1) The Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling


Monk took up piano at the age nine, and by thirteen he was barred from entering the Apollo Theatre’s amateur night competition because he had won it so many times. ~ Bop Piano: Thelonious Monk ~ December 31, 2012 © Bop Piano

Thelonious Monk ~ Inducted in the 2009 North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame.

Thelonious Monk ~ Brilliant Corners (1957) ~ Named one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die in 2008.

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