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Thelonious Sphere Monk, III Talks Father Monk's 100th Birthday Plans and Denzel Washington Biopic

By Maria Jean Sullivan m.sullivan@classicalite.com on Aug 04, 2014 01:24 PM EDT

With three years to spare before his father's 100th birthday, Thelonious Sphere Monk III is already planning several celebrations. According to a recent interview with the Huffington Post, T.S. Monk, III is coordinating the Monk, Sr. centennial with International Jazz Day:

“We're beginning the preplanning on a lot of different levels, not only with the [Monk] Institute but with myself just representing my father, because it's going to be an international event...This year we've streamed the third annual International Jazz Day to 2.5 billion people. So I know when Thelonious' 100th birthday comes up in three years, the whole entire world is going to be celebrating him the whole year and the International Jazz Day will be bigger than ever.”

Of course, there's already a ton of attention on Thelonious, what with several books on the jazz master recently published. Now, there may be a movie--possibly starring Denzel Washington--in the works. T.S. told Huff Po that not only was Denzel interested, but Bill Duke and Don Cheadle, the team behind the new Miles Davis film, have approached him as well.

“I've also had several people, in fact two people currently, working on Broadway musicals for Thelonious,” said T.S. Monk, III.

“Thelonious is a very enigmatic character and to sort of bottle him is sort of [more] difficult than to do with Miles,” he continues, examining the difficulty between focusing a film on either Thelonious’ work or life.

Monk's son does not fear that a flick about his father will happen soon, though. “People will get around to a major film on Thelonious, either dealing with his life in general or a particular phase of his life. And the reason why I don't worry about it is because everything that has happened with Thelonious has happened at the right time, and it's been absolutely first-class.”

Whenever it happens (especially if Denzel's involved), this biopic will surely be a must see. Until then, watch a clip of “Lulu’s Back In Town”--from a 1966 European tour with Charlie Rouse on tenor sax, Larry Gales on bass and drummer Ben Ryley.

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TagsThelonious Sphere T S Monk III, Opens Up, Father, Thelonious Monk, 100th, Birthday, Potential, Movie, Denzel, Washington

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