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Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition Film

A fresh new film documenting the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition will make its premiere at the 9th Annual Temecula Valley International Film Festival in Southern California.

Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition – Director’s Cut is the work of experienced documentary director Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier of Maui. The documentary explores the 2002 Monk Competition, held last year at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

The film pays special attention to the saxophone portion of the competition, which was eventually won by Seamus Blake (pictured) of Canada. Wayne Shorter, James Spaulding, Don Braden, George Coleman and Joshua Redman served as the competition’s judges. The film also features interviews with an eclectic assortment including everyone from Secretary of State Colin Powell to Thelonious Monk Jr.

Pianist Herbie Hancock and actor Billy Dee Williams hosted the event. Williams, whose career playing suave intergalactic scoundrel Lando Calrissian made him a perfect fit for the proceedings, is well known for his affinity of expressive saxophone Han Solos.

There will be two screenings at the festival on September 11 and September 13. Both viewings will be at 5 p.m.

For those trying to stay a little more up to date, BET will broadcast a one-hour documentary of this year’s competition on October 12 at 1 p.m. Mark your calendars. The 2003 competition focused on the trombone, with Andre Hayward, a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, taking home first prize.

For more information on the 9th Annual Temecula Valley International Film Festival, including show times and directions, check out For more data on the Monk Competition and the Monk Institute, click over to

Originally Published