This year’s annual Swing Central Jazz Finale celebrates the centenary of two of jazz music’s most prominent figures: John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.
Born in 1917 within weeks of one another in South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk were both major instrumentalists, bandleaders, composers and architects of modern jazz. This original production will showcase several of their most renowned compositions performed by some of the leading jazz artists in our time including Marcus Roberts, Rodney Whitaker, Marcus Printup, Ted Nash, Terell Stafford, Jason Marsalis and others. Featuring big band, septet, combo and solo interpretations and arrangements of such classics as “Groovin’ High,” “‘Round Midnight,” “Criss Cross,” and “Night in Tunisia,” this original production will illuminate the enduring legacy these jazz giants had on 20th century music. Leading off this annual finale concert, the top three finalists of the Swing Central Jazz high school band competition take the stage to vie for the Faircloth Award and the $5,000 top prize. SMF regulars know this event is one of the annual calendar highlights.