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T.S. Monk Sextet To Perform At Wesleyan

Special to The Courant

Drummer, bandleader and educator T.S. Monk has spent much of his life extending and celebrating the considerable legacy of his father, the jazz composer and pianist Thelonious Monk.

Few figures have shaped jazz so profoundly. Monk, who died in 1982, is rightly placed next to artists like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Monk’s compositions opened up new ways of handling turns, stamping unlikely melodies into the listener’s mind with insistence and artistry. A Monk tune can sound both astoundingly avant-garde and like something that’s existed for hundreds of years, conjured from the folk memory. Last year marked the 100th anniversary of Monk’s birth.

T.S. Monk not only learned from his father, but he also learned from the giants of jazz drumming: Art Blakey gave the young Monk his first drum kit as a teenager, and he studied with Max Roach. It’s hard to imagine a more profound set of early rhythmic influences for a young drummer.

T.S. Monk and his Sextet will celebrate 100 years of Thelonious Monk when they perform at Wesleyan’s Crowell Concert Hall at Wesleyan’s Center For the Arts, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown, on Saturday, April 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets $6 to $28. wesleyan.edu/cfa

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