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Monk Institute Names Trumpeter Marquis Hill 2014 Competition Winner

All-star gala event honoring Bill Clinton features Hancock, Shorter and others

Former President Bill Clinton accepts the Thelonious Monk Institute's Marie Fisher Founder's Award, November 2014
Melissa Aldana at the 2014 Monk Institute International Jazz Competition Gala
Second-place trumpeter Billy Buss, Monk Institute Competition Gala 2014
Third-place trumpeter Adam O'Farrill, Monk Institute Competition Gala 2014
Queen Latifah and Jimmy Heath at the 2014 Monk Institute Competition Gala in L.A.
Herbie Hancock and Pharrell Williams at the 2014 Monk Institute Competition Gala in L.A.
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Taj Mahal at the 2014 Monk Institute Competition Gala
L to R: Concord Music Group chief creative officer John Burk, 2014 Monk Competition winner Marquis Hill and Herbie Hancock
2014 Monk Competition Gala finale (L to R): Herbie Hancock, Competition winner Marquis Hill, Kellylee Evans, Dontae Winslow, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marcus Miller (in rear), Kevin Spacey, Dianne Reeves
Wayne Shorter at the 2014 Monk Institute Competition Gala in L.A.
Former President Bill Clinton at the 2014 Monk Institute Competition Gala in L.A.

Jazz threw a party in Los Angeles on the weekend of Nov. 8-9. The occasion: the 27th annual Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, arguably the jazz year’s most prestigious. The guests of honor: thirteen of the most talented up-and-coming trumpeters on the planet. The party favors: prizes worth more than $100,000, including a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group. In the end, top prize went to 27-year-old Chicagoan Marquis Hill.

The semifinals, held at Schoenberg Music Hall on the campus of UCLA, found the competitors strutting their stuff before a judging panel of trumpeting giants: Ambrose Akinmusire, Randy Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Owens and Arturo Sandoval. The musicians, backed throughout by the indomitable trio of pianist Reggie Thomas, bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Carl Allen, thrilled the audience with lyricism (Mike Cottone playing his glorious original composition “The Traveler”) and moments of pure exultation (Alphonso Horne’s glistening rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Portrait of Louis Armstrong”).

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