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Green Street, later renamed Red Row, the road in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on which Thelonious Monk's family lived, from his birth in 1917 until 1922. Photograph by Jonathan Williams (1970). Courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.


FOLLOWING MONK INSTITUTE
Scheduled to coincide with the Jazz Loft Project exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in the spring of 2011, the Following Monk Institute will investigate and celebrate the North Carolina roots of Thelonious Monk's family and music. Highlights of this Center for Documentary Studies institute will include guided tours of Monk's birthplace in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and the Newton Grove plantation where his ancestors were slaves and where relatives still live today. Sam Stephenson, director of the Jazz Loft Project, will lead the institute.

The Following Monk Institute will provide a rare opportunity to tour sites of Monk's early life and heritage and the geography of eastern North Carolina. Participants will have the unique experience of hearing from some of Monk's family members---including Duke University neurobiologist Erich Jarvis and educator Pam Monk Kelley of New Haven, Connecticut---about their extensive research on the family tree, and from Monk's son, T.S. Monk, about the relationship between the family and Monk's music. Participants will also hear from historians, such as authorized Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley, and musicians who will discuss the cultural and musical significance of Monk's North Carolina heritage. Additional speakers, and related concerts and programming, will be announced as details are confirmed.

The institute will include an exclusive presentation of sounds and images of Monk's 1959 Town Hall rehearsals that took place in the New York loft of Hall Overton and photographer W. Eugene Smith, whose obsessive photography and audio documentation provides profound new glimpses into the complexities of Monk and his music.


MORE INFORMATION
Details of the Following Monk Institute will be posted on this page as they become available. Please email Lauren Hart at lauren.hart [at] duke.edu with more immediate questions.


CDS RADIO PODCAST
Digging Up Thelonious Monk's Southern Roots
Produced by John Biewen of CDS Radio
Edited by Tom Cole

Listen to the broadcast (8:05 minutes)

The jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk would have celebrated his 90th birthday on October 10, 2007. Monk died in 1982. Besides his penchant for odd hats and other eccentricities, Monk is usually remembered as a hip New Yorker. He was a pioneer of Bebop who lived most of his life on Manhattan's West Side. But Monk was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and raised by his mother, a native of that tobacco and railroad town. Some scholars and fellow musicians say Monk's Southern roots had an overlooked but important influence on the man and his music. The story was produced by John Biewen of CDS Radio.

Visit the All Things Considered website for their broadcast of "Digging Up Thelonious Monk's Southern Roots"


PRESS FOR FOLLOWING MONK
A Six-Week Series Presented by Duke Performances, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

The Following Monk Institute grew out of this celebration of the 90th anniversary of Thelonious Monk's birth.


A Round of Applause for Duke Performances [editorial] (The Chronicle, October 25, 2007)

THELONIOUS MONK: Is This Home? (Oxford American, Issue #57, 2007)

Thelonious Monk Focus of 6-week, 18-event Tribute at Duke University (International Herald-Tribune, August 6, 2007)

Festival to Honor Monk (News and Observer, August 5, 2007)  




Railroad tracks of the "Around the Y" neighborhood, approximately 200 yards from Thelonious Monk's birth home, Rocky Mount, North Carolina (2007). Photograph by Sam Stephenson and Frank Hunter, made with W. Eugene Smith's original Sinar 4x5 view camera.




The Jazz Loft Project, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, 1317 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham, NC 27705
jazzloftproject.org | 919.660.3668 | 919.681.7600 fax | lauren.hart [at] duke.edu



Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University WNYC | wnyc.org | 93.9 fm | am 820 Center for Creative Photography Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University Duke Performances