Thelonious Monk, one of the most original and influential artists in the history of modern music, was born October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Though a musical maverick, Monk, during his lifetime, achieved great fame with numerous Carnegie Hall concerts, a feature on the cover of Time magazine, and a famous force of will that forever changed the direction of jazz music.
In 1970, Paul Jeffrey replaced Charlie Rouse in Monk’s quartet, following in a long line of storied sax men including John Coltrane and Johnny Griffin. Paul Jeffrey played with Thelonious Monk for the next 7 years (until Thelonious Monk more or less quit the road). Paul Jeffrey’s long-running engagement with Thelonious Monk, while hugely important, is just one chapter in a musical life that includes stints with BB King, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Howard McGhee. After a full career of touring, Paul Jeffrey went on to teach Jazz Studies at Rutgers for 5 years and then, for the following 20 years, he directed the Jazz Program at Duke University in Thelonious Monk’s home state of North Carolina.
Aaron Greenwald, Director
Duke University Performances