Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in China

Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater and students from Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz tour China

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in partnership with the U.S. Department of State presented a 10-day jazz education and performance tour of China. This tour marked the Institute’s first visit to China and introduced tens of thousands of young people and adults in China to jazz, America’s greatest musical contribution to the world.

Herbie Hancock and Dee Dee Bridgewater headlined the tour. They were accompanied by the six talented college students (Monk Fellows) who attend the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance graduate-level college program at Loyola University New Orleans. These students, who perform as the Thelonious Monk Institute Ensemble, receive full scholarships and regularly study and perform with the world’s most accomplished jazz musicians.

The group led a master class for Beijing’s aspiring young musicians at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, May 10. They performed at the Forbidden City Concert Hall on Tuesday evening, May 11. Additionally, the musicians presented major concerts on May 13 and 14 at the Entertainment Hall of the Shanghai 2010 Expo. These concerts were a gift from the United States to the people of China and citizens from around the world that will attend the Expo.

Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock remarked, “The Institute’s tour of China represents our continued commitment to working with young musicians from all parts of the globe. Music has always served as a bridge between different cultures and no musical art form is more effective as a diplomatic tool than jazz.”

The China tour was the most recent in a series of international diplomatic, cultural and educational tours presented by the Institute and the U.S. Department of State since 1995. Past programs included a tour of seven African nations; India and Thailand; Chile, Argentina and Peru; Egypt; and Vietnam. The Institute has also partnered with the United Nations to perform at three annual “International Day of Philosophy” events presented by UNESCO. Most recently, in 2009 the Institute’s college students accompanied Martin Luther King, III, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chaka Khan, Terri Lyne Carrington, George Duke, along with a Congressional Delegation lead by Congressman John Lewis and former United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young on a State Department tour of India commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King’s historic trip to India to study Gandhi’s nonviolence movement.

Herbie Hancock and Dee Dee Bridgewater headlined a concert at Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, accompanied by the six college students who attend the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance program at Loyola University New Orleans
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Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Chairman Herbie Hancock, Institute President Tom Carter, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, and students from the Institute’s Jazz Performance program gave a press conference before two concerts at the Shanghai 2010 Expo
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Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance students visited the Great Wall of China during a U.S. Department of State Cultural and Education Tour of China, May 7 - 16, 2010
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Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Thelonious Monk Institute Ensemble performed to a capacity audience at Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall during a recent U.S. Department of State Cultural and Education Tour of China
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Dee Dee Bridgewater and students from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance lead a master class for Beijing’s aspiring young musicians at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, May 10, 2010
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Herbie Hancock and Institute of Jazz Performance student pianist Victor Gould demonstrate improvisation techniques at a standing-room-only master class at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts
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Herbie Hancock signs autographs at a master class for Beijing’s aspiring young musicians at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, May 10, 2010
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Herbie Hancock and Dee Dee Bridgewater headlined a rare jazz concert at Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall on May 11, accompanied by the talented college students (Monk Fellows)
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Dee Dee Bridgewater and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance student bassist Hogyu Hwang delivered an exuberant performance at Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall during a recent U.S. Department of State Cultural and Education Tour of China
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