A couple of nights ago I was with some friends and colleagues in the DBA on Frenchman. We were fortunate also to have Joe, the new bass player for the new Monk institute there too - he's a friend of one of my colleague's. I hadn't heard about the Monk Institute - and especially not about it coming to New Orleans.
In brief it is probably one of the best, if not, the best jazz program in the country. Seven jazzers get room and board, lessons with the very best, education experience and a stipend for two to four years. For a jazzer its like winning the lottery. With jazz greats like Herbie Hancock, Wayne SHorter, Terance Blanchard, and Thelonius Monk Jr. guiding them, its a dream come true.
This exceptional program has until now been in Washington DC and LA. It is such a wonderful gift that it has now come to New Orleans - for the next seven years!! There are so many bad things to read about this city right now (murder, levees, corruption) that it is just "pure dead brilliant" (to use a good old Glasgow phrase) to hear about this coming to this city. This is where jazz was born and in its time of need, having a resurgence in the very best in jazz returning here is just the best news!!
I'm looking forward to hearing these guys play.