Arts Blog

Jazz Singer Karrin Allyson celebrates Thelonious Monk

October 12, 2017

October 2017 marks the 100th birthday of the legendary Thelonious Monk. Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-1982) is recognized as one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz. He was one of the architects of bebop and his impact as a composer and pianist has had a profound influence on every genre of music. Music @ Carleton welcomes the 2017-18 Laudie D. Porter Artist, Karrin Allyson, who with the Laura Caviani Trio will celebrate the many contributions Monk made to the standard jazz repertoire with a concert on Friday October 13 at 7:30 p.m.

With thirteen albums and five Grammy nominations, Jazz vocalist and pianist Karrin Allyson moves with ease and authority from the Great American Songbook of Gershwin and Porter to the Great American Jazz Songbook of Duke and Thelonius and Miles and Dizzy, jet-setting to Rio and Paris and swinging back home to pick up Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb. Legendary jazz critic Gary Giddins said in The Village Voice: “Allyson coolly stakes her claim. She brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain — incisive, original, and emotionally convincing.”

Allyson lives in New York City, following a childhood in the Midwest, schooling in the Bay Area, a degree in classical piano performance and important stints in Minneapolis and Kansas City, where she began her recording career with Concord Jazz. She currently spends two days out of three on tour, performing at major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs in the U.S. as well as repeated tours overseas — to Brazil, Japan, Australia and the great cities of Europe. She is also known as a bandleader, working for more than a decade with an ensemble of committed jazz virtuosi.

Laura Caviani is perhaps best known for her studies of Thelonious Monk’s angular bebop piano stylings. A veteran of two decades of performing, recording, and composing, her recordings have received such praise as “stunningly fresh” from JazzTimes and “in a word, outstanding” from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Recent commissions include diverse projects ranging from setting music to poetry, to composing string quartets and choral works.

Caviani holds a Bachelors of Music in Composition from Lawrence University, and a Masters of Music in Improvisation from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. As a dedicated educator, she is on faculty at Carleton College, where she directs the Jazz Ensemble, coaches chamber groups, and teaches jazz piano. The Laura Caviani Trio includes bassist Chris Bates and drummer Dave Schmalenberger.