The Jazzcat

USC Spectrum Presents The Thelonious Monk Institute and USC Ensemble

by on Apr.16, 2004, under News


Additional Photos


The Bovard Auditorium

has been nicely remodeled. It has been some time since I have been

here. I think the last time was to see Wayne Shorter. The show opened

with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Band. Six hand selected

players who received a full scholarship for the jazz studies program at

USC headed by Terence Blanchard.

Terence, as well

Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter, who all hold positions as Artistic

Director, Institute Chairman and Former Artist Director respectively,

were directly responsible for choosing these six talented individuals.


Piano: Arpad Olah – Budapest Hungary

Bass:    Alan Hampton – Houston Texas

Drums: James Alsanders – New Orleans Louisiana

Sax: Gilad Ronen – Falsaba Israel

Vibes: James Westfall – Houston Texas

Trumpet: Dontae Winslow – Baltimore Maryland


These players have

the opportunity to be mastered by some of the finest in jazz. Besides

those I mentioned previously, The TMJI band has also studied with the

likes of Kenny Barron, Clark Terry, Charlie Haden, Lewis Nash and



Their sound spans

from all over the globe and they are encouraged to seek out and develop

their own individual sound. Each of the five pieces that were performed

was composed by one of the players. Their sound is wonderful together

and you can hear the direction of Terence on some of their pieces.

Terence introduced the band and also came out on stage to perform on a

few of the compositions.


There have been many

waves of the jazz futures. These cats in the Thelonious Monk Institute

of Jazz Band are the present and future Tsunami. Right in time with the

modern sounds of jazz music. These cats will certainly excel and

continue to ride the jazz train into our future!


Wayne Shorter’s

encore performance was also enhanced by the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra

who performed two student compositions, “The Tiger” and “Prometheus



LeRoy Downs

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