B.B. King and Paul G. Allen to be Honored by Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the Kodak Theatre on Sunday, October 26


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14-time GRAMMY winner and Blues Legend will receive the Institute's Founder's Award; Microsoft Co-Founder will receive the 2008 Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award

(Los Angeles, Calif.)--the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz announced that 14-time GRAMMY winner and blues legend B.B. King will receive the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Founder's Award and Microsoft Co-Founder and Global Philanthropist Paul G. Allen will be presented with the Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award during the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz The Blues and Jazz: Two American Classics Gala Benefit Concert in association with The Recording Academy® Los Angeles Chapter taking place on Sunday, October 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

Each year, the Institute presents the highly coveted Founders Award to an individual who has made essential and valuable contributions to jazz education and the jazz tradition. Recipients include keyboardist and composer Herbie Hancock, legendary recording artists Stevie Wonder and George Benson, actor/artist Billy Dee Williams, producer George Wein, bassist Percy Heath, saxophonists and composers Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath and Benny Carter, drummer Max Roach, trumpeter Clark Terry, jazz aficionado Clint Eastwood, composer and U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch, and renowned jazz educator Dr. David Baker.

“With this year's Gala featuring the blues and jazz, everyone at the Institute felt it was most fitting to honor B.B. King with the Founder's Award. B.B. has been one of the most recognizable faces in American music and has played a tremendous role in the popularity of American music around the world. He is a global music icon who has inspired and educated young people for more than six decades. We are honored and excited that he will join us to accept the Award," said Institute Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Thelonious Monk, Jr.

Established in 2007 during a special sold-out tribute to Herbie Hancock at the Kodak Theatre featuring Sting, Joni Mitchell, Jamie Foxx, Chris Botti, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Al Jarreau, Nancy Wilson, and many others, the Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award was presented to Mr. Hancock for his passionate commitment to use music, the arts, and technology as a means to educate young people around the world while spreading a message of unity, diplomacy, and diversity.

Mr. Allen, who will be the first recipient of the Award, was handpicked by Mr. Hancock because of Mr. Allen's enormous contributions to mankind through his professional and philanthropic endeavors.

“It is such an honor to be presenting Paul Allen with the first Herbie Hancock Humanitarian Award. I have admired Paul and his work for many years and am thrilled to have the opportunity to salute him for his visionary achievements as a businessman and a global philanthropist."

The Blues and Jazz: Two American Classics Gala Benefit Concert is in conjunction with the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and will feature a world renowned line-up of jazz, blues, and contemporary music artists including Herbie Hancock, Keb' Mo', Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terence Blanchard, Poncho Sanchez, Cassandra Wilson, George Duke, Wayne Shorter, Robert Cray, Jimmy Heath, David Sanchez, John Patitucci, and Terri Lyne Carrington. More confirmed major artists and special guests will be announced in the coming days. Kelsey Grammer, Billy Dee Williams, Thelonious Monk, Jr, and others to be announced will co-host the Gala.

Proceeds raised from the concert will support Institute blues and jazz education programs in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and throughout the Mississippi Delta.

Tickets & Information: Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by calling 213-480-3232 or by visiting the Kodak Theatre box office, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, Calif. Tickets are $35 and go up to $1000 for VIP Orchestra seats, which includes admission to the post show cast party at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. For more information on VIP ticket packages, please call 202-364-7272.


The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a nonprofit jazz education organization, was founded in 1986 in memory of the legendary jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk. The Institute fosters the next generation of jazz greats by offering the world's most promising young musicians college level training by internationally recognized jazz masters, educating young people around the world about jazz through innovative public-school initiatives, and presenting a wide range of programs that help expand and perpetuate America's indigenous musical art form.


Since 1987, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has presented the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition - the most prestigious jazz competition in the world. Often compared to the classical Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky competitions, it has launched the careers of a number of major young jazz stars over the past 20 years including Marcus Roberts, Joshua Redman, Jacky Terrasson, Joey DeFrancesco, and Jane Monheit. Each year the Institute presents a major All-Star Benefit Concert Gala immediately following the Competition. In 2007, the Competition was held for the first time on the west coast at the Kodak Theatre featuring a Tribute to Herbie Hancock.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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