Monk Institute Vocal Competition Semi-Finalists Announced

Finals set for Nov 14-15 in L.A.

The Thelonious Monk Institute has announced the names of 11 semi-finalists in its International Jazz Vocals Competition. According to a press release, the singers are Sirintip Phasuk of Stockholm, Sweden; Walter Ricci of Naples, Italy; Liam Burrows of Sydney, Australia; Vuyolwethu Sotashe of Butterworth, South Africa; and, from the United States: Lena Seikaly, Veronica Swift and Danielle Wertz, all from Virginia; Christie Dashiell, of Greenville, N.C.; Jazzmeia Horn, of Dallas, Tex.; Katie Thiroux of Los Angeles and Lucy Yeghiazaryan of New York City.

The semifinals will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 12 to 5 p.m. at Schoenberg Hall on the UCLA campus. Each semifinalist will perform for 15 minutes, accompanied by pianist Reginald Thomas, bassist Rodney Whitaker and drummer Carl Allen. Three finalists will be selected to participate in the competition finals on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. According to the press release, “They will vie for scholarships and prizes totaling more than $100,000 including a $25,000 first place scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group.”

The finals will take place Nov. 14 and 15 in Los Angeles. The winner will receive an award of $25,000 and a recording contract with Concord Records.

Judges include Patti Austin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Freddy Cole, Al Jarreau and Luciana Souza.

Immediately following the three finalists’ performances at the competition finals on the 15th, an all-star gala concert will take place. Quincy Jones will receive the Institute’s 2015 Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award. Hancock, Seth MacFarlane, Andy Garcia, Jeff Goldblum and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will host the event. Artists confirmed to date include Patti Austin, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lyne Carrington, Freddy Cole, Dave Grusin, Jimmy Heath, Paul Jackson, Jr., Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws, Gretchen Parlato, Arturo Sandoval, Wayne Shorter, Luciana Souza, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Ben Williams and others. John Beasley will serve as the evening’s musical director.