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Sam Dillon Semifinalist: Thelonious Monk Contest

Last week Sam Dillon received the news that he has been named as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz 2013 Saxophone Competition, but he was sworn to secrecy until all the other 13 young jazz semifinalists from around the world were reached. An exception was made so that he could tell his parents, Louise Sloane and Don Dillon. Sam knew that his friend, roommate and fellow saxophonist had also received a mysterious call that morning.

 

And so it was that another exception was made and Sam learned that Andrew Gould had also made the cut and that both young men will go on to compete at the Baird Auditorium in the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in D.C. on Sunday, Sept. 15. The two are doubly happy...f or themselves and for each other.

 

Each semi-finalist will perform a 15-minute set with a rhythm section before a panel composed of jazz greats, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Watson, Jane Ira Bloom and Branford Marsalis.

 

For those unable to attend the performances, the competition will be streamed online from the web sites of the Smithsonian Institution and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

 

The finalists will compete the following evening at a gala concert at the Kennedy Center.

 

The winner will receive a $25,000 music scholarship, a recording contract with the Concord Music Group and will be forever known as a Monk winner.

 

But to be named a semifinalist in the renowned Monk competition is a career benchmark in itself.

 

Congratulations and good luck, Sam! All that hard work, love, and dedication to making music is shining through.