Thelonius Monk International Jazz Vocals
The Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz presented its 17th annual Jazz Vocals Competition and Gala Concert at the Kennedy Center on September 13. Following a performance by the finalists, guest judges Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Al Jarreau, Quincy Jones, Flora Purim and Jimmy Scott awarded first prize to vocalist Gretchen Parlato. Hosted by Herbie Hancock and Billy Dee Williams, the competition is known as the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. The finalists and honorees were saluted prior to the concert at a State Department reception, and the after-party was hosted by Quincy Jones, Joe Robert, Jr. and Sen. Ted Stevens and his wife, Catherine. The previous night, Robert invited friends to Blues Alley in Georgetown to hear Hancock jam with top jazz musicians from around the world. The Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz is a non-profit school that offers young jazz musicians college-level training and develops public school-based jazz programs worldwide.
Photos by Kyle Samperton and Ronny James