Special guests include Thelonious Monk’s son, T.S. Monk, the definitive biographer of Thelonious Monk, Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley, and the Marion Hayden Ensemble featuring Grammy Award winner Kamau Kenyatta.

Thelonious Monk was one of greatest jazz musicians of all time and one of the first originators of bebop. The Wright Museum will honor the pioneer performer’s legacy with a two-night celebration.

On Friday, Oct. 13, the program titled “The High Priest” will begin at 6 p.m. with a film screening of “Thelonious Monk: American Composer” followed by a conversation between T.S. Monk, and Dr. Kelley, who is a distinguished professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in History at UCLA. A book signing of Dr. Kelley’s “Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original” will take place after the program.

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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).

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