September 14, 2011 — Coral Gables, FL — Miami native and University of Miami Frost School of Music’s student Emmet Cohen performed as one of three piano finalists in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater in Washington D.C. on Monday, September 12, 2011.
Cohen was named “Third Place Winner” at the end of the competition. Joshua White from San Diego was named Second Place Winner, and Kris Bowers from Los Angeles was declared the first place winner by a panel of judges that included Herbie Hancock, Ellis Marsalis, Danilo Perez, Renee Rosnes, and Jason Moran. All three finalists received a cash scholarship plus an option on a recording contract with Concord Music Group, a major record label.
Widely considered the most prestigious instrumental jazz contest in the world, more than 100 jazz pianists submitted applications for the event. Cohen was among 12 semifinalists who were selected to perform at the Smithsonian Institute the prior evening, before advancing to the final round.
Earlier this year, Cohen was the winner of the Phillips Jazz Piano Competition in Pensacola, Florida in April 2011, and was one of five finalists for the 2010/11 American Pianist’s Association’s Cole Porter Fellowship in May 2011. He was also named 2011 DownBeat Undergraduate College Winner in both Jazz Group and Jazz Soloist categories.
Emmet Cohen currently studies piano with Shelly Berg and Martin Bejerano at the Frost School of Music, where he is majoring in Studio Music and Jazz and performs with the Frost Jazz Sextet. He is also the leader of the Emmet Cohen Trio.
The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition has launched the careers of many of today's most recognized young musicians including pianist Gerald Clayton, vocalist Jane Monheit, and tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman.
The competition is named in honor of the late jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the competition and the founding of the Thelonious Monk Institute. The gala concert honored R&B vocalist Aretha Franklin, with tribute performances by Diane Reeves, Chaka Khan, Kurt Elling, and Jane Monheit. The “Queen of Soul” graced the stage and closed the event with a performance of “Moody’s Mood for Love,” which in turn honored the late jazz saxophonist, James Moody.
About the Frost School of Music
The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is a world-class music institution with 100 faculty members and 700 students located on the Coral Gables campus of the University of Miami. The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings. The Frost School is the exclusive home of the Henry Mancini Institute which provides students with cross-genre performance opportunities in real-world professional settings, and the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program which develops the creative skills of talented young artist/songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions of American songwriting. For more information, visit http://www.music.miami.edu.
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