Thelonious Monk LP w/ Robin D.G. Kelley
SFJAZZ Dialogues • SFJAZZ At Home

Thelonious Monk Listening Party with Robin D.G. Kelley

in Conversation with SFJAZZ Founder & Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline

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This program is supported by The Rex Cardinale Monk Festival Fund.

The cover of Robin D.G. Kelley's biography of Monk


Step into the SFJAZZ “living room” and hear artists and tastemakers spinning their favorite recordings while in conversation with SFJAZZ Founder and Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline. Listening Parties offer listeners the chance to get behind-the- scenes and hear about music from the artist’s perspective. The format is an on-stage conversation in the Robert N. Miner Auditorium, accompanied by the artist’s pick of recorded, and sometimes live, excerpts. The conversation closes with questions from the audience followed by a reception with complimentary drinks and bites.

This Thelonious Monk Listening Party features author and historian Robin D.G. Kelley, discussing and playing the music of jazz icon Thelonious Monk to kick off our annual week celebrating Monk’s birthday. Kelley is the author of the definitive Monk biography, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, which won Best Book on Jazz from the Jazz Journalists Association, the Ambassador Award for Book of Special Distinction from the English-Speaking Union, and the PEN Open Book Award.


A New York native, Robin D.G. Kelley received his bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach, and both a master’s in African history and doctorate in US history from UCLA. He has spent most of his career focused on American history with particular emphasis on African American social movements, political history and culture.

Kelley has taught at Southeastern Massachusetts University, Emory University, University of Michigan, and became the youngest full professor at NYU at age 32. He was named a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow. He’s written, co-written, and co-edited eleven books including Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (1994), Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (1997), and Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (2012). He has contributed to the Village Voice, Boston Review, and The New York Times.

His 2009 Thelonious Monk biography, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, was written with the full cooperation of the Monk estate, who granted Kelley unprecedented access to rare historical documents.

Robin D.G. Kelley is currently the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA.

This concert is made possible by The Rex Cardinale Thelonius Monk Fund.


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