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John Schott Leads “’Round Midnight Reconsidered” Event on Shavout

All-night event in San Francisco celebrates the music of Thelonious Monk in a reimagining of the Jewish holiday on June 4-5

All-night event celebrates the music of Thelonious Monk in a reimagining of the Jewish holiday on June 4-5
John Schott (photo by Cookie Segelstein)

Bay Area guitarist and composer John Schott will lead “’Round Midnight Reconsidered,” an all-night musical meditation celebrating Thelonious Monk’s iconic composition and paying respect to a Jewish holiday, on June 4-5 from 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. PT. The continuous eight-hour performance will take place at Light Rail Studios in San Francisco and will be streamed online in a reimagining of the Jewish holiday Shavuot. On that holiday, Jews are encouraged to stay up all night studying holy texts.

According to a press release received at JazzTimes, “the musicians will approach the composition as Jews celebrating Shavuot tradition would a Torah passage—as an overnight study session.” That description was further clarified with the explanation that the performers, rather than improvising in typical jazz fashion, will be stretching out their rendition of the Monk tune. Really stretching it out. We can only offer their description here: “Each of the 48 measures of ‘‘Round Midnight,’ which typically take 90 seconds to perform [in total], will be stretched to 10 minutes length, resulting in a complete performance lasting eight hours. Each note, group of notes, and rest will be treated as an object for contemplation and commentary. This extended experience is intended to transform the music into a powerful medium for spiritual realization.” Yes, it’s going to be a long night, and a long tune. But that’s the point. After all, many a jazz musician considers the work of Thelonious Monk to be akin to sacred material.

Performing with Schott will be Aurora Josephson and Cecilia Englehart on vocals; Nikita Manin and Cory Wright (woodwinds); Crystal Pascucci (violoncello); Mark Clifford (vibraphone); Scott Larson (trombone); Lisa Mezzacappa (bass); Safa Shokrai (bass); Kanoko Nishi (koto); Suki O’Kane, Jason Levis and John Hanes (drums and percussion). We hope that they get plenty of rest before the special performance.

Learn more about this unique event presented by the Reboot organization here.