Thelonious Monk Awards
It was a glorious evening of song at the Kennedy Center on Oct. 4 as the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition and Gala Concert paid an all-star tribute to the Great American Songbook. A who’s who of jazz legends was hosted by Thelonious Monk, Jr., Herbie Hancock, Phylicia Rashad and Billy Dee Willliams. Aretha Franklin could not be present to accept the Maria Fisher Founder’s Award but Gladys Knight was a wow replacement. The finalists were world class. French-born Cyrille Aimée placed third, Charenée Wade of Brooklyn second, and winner Cécile McLorin Salvant of Miami garnered a $20,000 scholarship and Concord Music Group recording contract. She held her own with the pros as she sang the opening lines of the Blue Skies finale.