"We Always Swing"® Jazz Series presents

Kenny Barron Quartet

Photo Credit John Sann

“A Chunk of Monk”: Celebrating Thelonious Sphere Monk

Monday, October 15, 2012, to Wednesday, October 17, 2012


“A Chunk of Monk” serves as one of the central pieces of the 2012/2013 season with the “We Always Swing” ® Jazz Series selected as one of only 12 recipients nationwide of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Live! 1:1 matching grant through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.



Kenny Barron Quartet

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Missouri Theatre, 7 p.m.

[Doors: 6 p.m.]


Kenny Barron, Piano

Jimmy Greene, Tenor Saxophone

Kiyoshi Kitagawa, Bass

Johnathan Blake, Drums



Robin D.G. Kelley, Chair, History Dept., UCLA; Author Thelonious Monk: The Life And Times of An American Original

Click to hear an interview with Kelley.

 Gerald Early, Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters; Director Center for Humanities, Washington University



  • Straight, No Chaser, Ragtag Cinema, Monday, October 15, 6 p.m. [Dir. Charlotte Zwerin/Co-Prods. Clint Eastwood & Bruce Ricker; 90 min.; b/w].
  •  “Interpreting & Re-Interpreting Thelonious Monk”: Kenny Barron Master Class. Tuesday, October 16, Time: 4:30 p.m. at Piano Distributors.
  • Thelonious Monk: The Life And Times of An American Original”: Panel Discussion with Robin D. Kelley, Gerald Early & Kenny Barron. Tuesday, October 16, Time: 7:30 p.m. at Fisher Auditorium, MU

During the week that would have been his 94th birthday, the “We Always Swing”® Jazz Series is pleased to present: “A CHUNK OF MONK,” a three-day celebration of one of jazz’s most beloved and important modern figures: Thelonious Sphere Monk (b. 10/10/18 d. 2/17/1982). The affair features an acclaimed film, master class, panel discussion and is capped off with a major concert at the Missouri Theatre.


“A Chunk of Monk” brings together Kenny Barron, NEA Jazz Master and one of today’s most respected pianists and bandleaders; Robin D. Kelley, Chair of the History Department at UCLA and author of the acclaimed biography Thelonious Monk: The Life And Times Of An American Original (Free Press; 608 pp.); and, Gerald Early, likewise a nationally known author, critic and essayist who holds the positions of Merle Kling Professor of Letters and Director Center for the Humanities at Washington University.

On this, the cusp of the 25th Anniversary of its release, we screen Straight, No Chaser, the 1988 Monk documentary, directed by the late Charlotte Zwerin and co-produced by Clint Eastwood and the late Bruce Riker. At the time of its release Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, …”The film's late-1960s portions, which document a European tour and also catch Monk playing in clubs and in recording sessions, are some of the most valuable jazz sequences ever shot… The Monk music that courses through the film is extraordinary in its range of feeling… The film reminds us again and again that Monk was as important a jazz composer as he was a pianist.”
   Musicians appearing in Straight, No Chaser include Charlie Rouse and Johnny Griffin (ts), Phil Woods (as), Ray Copeland (tpt), Jimmy Cleveland (tb), Larry Gales (b) and Ben Riley (dms). Pianists Tommy Flanagan and Barry Harris perform in duo.

Kenny Barron, a 2010 NEA Jazz Master recipient, is one of the most lyrical and engaging pianists. At 69, now five decades into his exceptional pianism, Barron, as his last name suggests, is a kingly presence on the keyboard. Learn more about Barron HERE.

Audio and Video

Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012

"Jazz in the District"

Doors: 6 p.m. | Start: 7 p.m.

Sponsored by

"One of the top jazz pianists in the world.”

- The Los Angeles Times

“The most lyrical piano player of our time.”

- Jazz Weekly

Kenny Barron Quartet

Kenny Barron: Piano
Jimmy Greene: tenor saxophone
Kiyoshi Kitagawa: Bass
Johnathan Blake: Drums

Press Photos

Photo #2