Carleton celebrates the 100th birthday of legendary jazz pioneer Thelonius Monk with tribute concert

12 October 2017

Carleton will celebrate the 100th birthday of legendary jazz pioneer Thelonius Monk with a special concert on Friday, Oct. 13 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Kracum Performance Hall of the Weitz Center for Creativity. “Monk” will feature the acclaimed Laura Caviani Trio along with renowned jazz vocalist, Karrin Allyson, honoring the many contributions Thelonius Monk made to the standard jazz repertoire. This not-to-be-missed tribute concert is free and open to the public.

Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-1982) is recognized as one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz. He was one of the architects of bebop and his impact as a composer and pianist has had a profound influence on every genre of music.

With thirteen albums and five Grammy nominations, jazz vocalist and pianist Karrin Allyson moves with ease and authority from the Great American Songbook of Gershwin and Porter to the Great American Jazz Songbook of Duke and Thelonius and Miles and Dizzy, jet-setting to Rio and Paris and swinging back home to pick up Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb. Music critic Gary Giddins of The Village Voice notes: “Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain — incisive, original, and emotionally convincing.” She lives in New York City, following a childhood in the Midwest, schooling in the Bay Area, a degree in classical piano performance, and important stints in Minneapolis and Kansas City, where she began her recording career with Concord Jazz. Allyson currently spends two days out of three on tour, performing at major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs in the U.S. as well as repeated tours overseas — to Brazil, Japan, Australia and the great cities of Europe. She is also known as a bandleader, working for more than a decade with an ensemble of committed jazz virtuosi. More at

Laura Caviani is perhaps best known for her studies of Thelonious Monk’s angular bebop piano stylings. A veteran of two decades of performing, recording, and composing, her recordings have received such praise as “stunningly fresh” from JazzTimes and “in a word, outstanding” from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Recent commissions include diverse projects ranging from setting music to poetry, to composing string quartets and choral works. She holds a Bachelors of Music in Composition from Lawrence University, and a Masters of Music in Improvisation from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. As a dedicated educator, she is a faculty member at Carleton College, where she directs the Jazz Ensemble, coaches chamber groups, and teaches jazz piano. More at

The Laura Caviani Trio includes bassist Chris Bates and drummer Dave Schmalenberger. Chris Bates, a bassist of formidable talent, studied jazz at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire before returning to the Twin Cities to study with Anthony Cox. He was a member of the Motion Poets (1993-2000) and a 1999 McKnight Composer Fellow, and now often lends his compositions to the many ensembles that he juggles throughout his busy performance schedule. Over his career, he has played with Mose Allison. Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Steven Bernstein, Howard Levy, Michael Attias, Ira Sullivan, Eric Alexander, Tim Sparks and more. In addition to his local ensemble work, he has played solo concerts using both acoustic and electronic instruments, duets with fellow bassists Adam Linz and Anthony Cox, and appears on over 30 recordings. In 2012, Bates debuted his quintet Red 5 and a new trio, Good Vibes, with vibes master Dave Hagedorn and drummer Phil Hey.

Drummer Dave Schmalenberger received his DMA in Percussion Performance and World Music from West Virginia University, his Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Percussion from the University of Michigan, and Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from Capital University. He has performed locally with Pooch’s Playhouse, Laura Caviani, Alma Brasileira, Joan Griffith, the Jazz Imports, Vocal Essence, Synergy SCHAG (jazz percussion duo with Dave Hagedorn), JazzMN Orchestra, Benny Weinbeck Trio, Russ Peterson Big Band, Cedar Avenue Big Band, and with vocalists Debbie Duncan, Judi Donaghy, Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, and Dennis Spears, Dave has also kept time for Lynne Arriale, John Scofield, Conrad Herwig, Kevin Mahogany, Steve Turre, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Cab Calloway, Rufus Reid, the Fifth Dimension, and The Mills Brothers, as well as in productions at the Ordway and Children’s Theatre Company. He also toured with the Summit Brass Ensemble and the Intergalatic Contemporary Ensemble (I.C.E.). Schmalenberger is a faculty member of McNally Smith College of Music.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of Music, with support from the Laudie D. Porter Artist Performance Series. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4475. The Kracum Performance Hall is located in the Weitz Center for Creativity at 320 Third Street East in Northfield.

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