Music Center partners with jazz institute

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz will become the in-residence jazz company of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, presenting educational programs and performances beginning this fall.

The 11-year-old institute, which sponsors the country’s premier jazz competition each year at the Kennedy Center in Washington, will begin with a jazz education program, two concerts at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a Jazz Sports program and a “History of Jazz” lecture series.

Composer and pianist Herbie Hancock, the artistic director of the partnership, said the institute will begin with “small programs that are manageable and then expand.”

“There are a lot of people in the television and film industries interested in jazz,” Hancock told a gathering Tuesday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. “This program will provide the structure necessary so they can be personally involved in some of these programs.”

Music Center officials said the construction of Disney Hall across the street will free up the Chandler for jazz and dance programs. By 2000, the Monk Institute intends to present educational programs on the role of jazz in film and TV and opportunities within the music business for budding composers and jazz educators, as well as present performances. The institute will also develop its Jazz Sports program — in conjunction with the Lakers and Clippers — that provides instrument training in city schools.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, based in Washington, presents concert programs in Boston and Aspen and is in the process of creating a jazz center with Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. Among the winners of the annual competition are some of jazz’s hottest young musicians, among them Joshua Redman, Marcus Roberts, Ryan Kisor and Jacky Terasson.

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