Thelonious Monk

Quick Facts

  • American composer and jazz (bebop) pianist
  • Started playing piano at the age of 6
  • His first job was playing church organ for a traveling evangelist.
  • Monk’s piano playing was unique: forceful with lots of dissonance and unusual rhythms
  • At first, his career was slow in taking off since his style was misunderstood.
  • By the mid-1950s, he was a celebrity, even featured on the cover of Time Magazine in the 60s.
  • Monk is now the most-covered jazz composer.


  • Thelonious Monk poster (PDF)

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