In anticipation of a weekend of music, guest musician Ernest Turner becomes guest speaker to discuss with us the life and music of Thelonious Monk. Turner has spent several years performing Monk’s music, including the celebration of his 100th birthday in his hometown of Rocky Mount. At this pre-concert session, Turner shares what this unique musician means to the jazz community as we recognize Thelonious Monk’s 102nd birthday.
You are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch and enjoy this discussion over your lunch time.
This informative session is the first of a three-part “NC Jazz Legends” series funded by the generous support of the North Carolina Arts Council. Driven initially by The State of North Carolina’s proclamation of 2019 the Year of Music, this jazz series is part of an initiative called Come Hear NC. Come Hear NC is designed to celebrate North Carolinians groundbreaking contributions to music.
North Carolina native Thelonious Monk put our region on the map, being recognized in the North Carolina Hall of Fame as a creator of modern jazz and bebop. Monk is the second most recorded jazz artist right after Duke Ellington, with famous songs like “Well, you Needn’t” “Blue Monk”, and “Round Midnight”. Recognized musically for his blues compositions, Monk couldn’t be missed in person with his notorious sunglasses and a tendency to take a break playing piano to get up and dance.
Ernest Turner, an award-winning pianist and composer from North Carolina who has recorded with some of the biggest names in jazz and pop music, including Delfeayo Marsalis, John Legend, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. While most of his formal training occurred in New Orleans, Turner brings his high-octane style back to his home community. His debut studio album, My Americana (2019) demonstrates the energy and thoughtfulness that make Turner the perfect performer to bring Thelonious Monk’s music to life at the JAZZ ROOM.