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5 Monk Moods You Need To Live By

By Sierre Monk

5 Monk Moods You Need To Live By

Apply these encouraging affirmations to your daily routine


Be Honest

Strive to come from an organic place by being authentic and true to yourself. If it feels right, it usually is. Walk confidently in your truth. Be transparent with yourself. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the opinions of others, but do recognize that consistency, or lack thereof, directly affects your reputation, and it is the only thing you can control. Do not allow yourself to internalize or give meaning to negative thoughts. Instead, constructively critique yourself. Say and do what you mean so you can make your word your bond, especially for yourself. Exercise your right to say no or to disagree with something and have integrity while doing so. Take a firm stand and be decisive. Grey areas often symbolize confusion or lack of motivation, so be assertive. Have you found your moral compass? Identify and make clear distinctions between what you believe is right and what you believe is wrong. When you are sad or angry about things that you can’t control, avoid self pity, because that shit will solve exactly zero of your problems. Remember, karma is real, bruh.

 


Thelonious Monk Discussing Problem

 

Stay Curious

Question everything. Find the answers. Do your own research and think freely. Read between the lines and color outside of the box. Your potential is limitless. Spread your wings, feed and nurture your mind, see the world. As you journey, don’t stop learning or dreaming. The best way to combat ignorance is through education because knowledge is, in fact, power. Be present. There are rarely any handouts in life so you’re going to have to go out and get what you want or what you feel you deserve. Achieve. Defy your own expectations and break the mental barriers you’ve constructed for yourself. You must be open enough to receive the message. Generally, the popular opinion is irrelevant, so don’t be persuaded to think otherwise. Step out of the matrix and learn to access your third eye. Gotta stay woke.

 


Remain Compassionate

Be kind. Have Grace. Never forget how fragile life is so start your day with a grateful heart. Have respect for every living thing, and remember that materialistic objects mean nothing, because the message is bigger than you. What do you possess that isn’t tangible? Maybe it’s time to revise your list of emotional inventory. We all carry different burdens and worries so try to be the helping hand you’d want assistance from. Practice listening to others more, and talk less. It's possible to find similarities in some of the most seemingly opposite people or situations. Always think beyond yourself and be mindful of life’s ripple effect. Be tender. Have mercy. We are never in a position to judge. Choose your words wisely, and at the very least, try to be the change that you want to see in humanity.

Exist Radiantly


Love yourself fully and wholeheartedly. Don’t apologize for your happiness and don’t tone down your joy because someone else is uncomfortable or envious. Shine bright. You are in control of your personal contentment, no one else has that power. Surround yourself with positivity and don’t let anyone kill your vibe. Outgrow. Evolve. Change is good and absolutely necessary if you're trying to avoid stagnation. You are the company you keep so be selective, some won’t make your final cut. Cardinal Rule: Your squad should only be made up of those who truly love and support you. It’s important to assess the energy that others transfer on to you. Your aura is precious.You deserve all of this good. Be greedy with yourself and know your worth. By doing so, put a high value on your time and don’t allow others to waste it. Take care of yourself and be prideful of your achievements. Trust your intuition. Create boundaries and have a bottom line for things that you won’t tolerate. Protect your heart.

Grandfather and Thelonious Monk


Continue Thankfully
You can’t take anything for granted because each new day is a gift, not a guarantee. Be mindful of how far you’ve come and how you started. Honor those who’ve helped you along in your journey. Pay it forward by mentoring, inspiring, and helping others. Be humble as you count your blessings. Show gratitude. You’ve blossomed into something exquisite, so re-plant the seed that you sprouted from. Give credit to those you owe and pay homage to those you admire. Support. Help. Donate your time and resources to something meaningful and selfless. The best way to say thank you is to cultivate your own legacy.

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Always Know

By Sierre Monk

Always Know

“ Boo-Boo’s most ambitious plan was to establish a scholarship program and a theatrical workshop in Monk’s name...calling it Always Know, Two Is One: The Philosophy of Thelonious Sphere Monk. She hoped this ambitious work would draw links between black migration and settlement in the neighborhood, the struggle for civil and human rights and social justice, and the vision and music of Thelonious Monk. Most importantly, Boo-Boo’s dream was to establish a permanent foundation in her father’s name that could support and oversee these specific projects while keeping Monk’s legacy alive.”

Excerpt from Thelonious Monk, The Life and Times of an American Original, by Robin D. G. Kelley

 

 

Cut it out of your own heart.

 

 

 

 

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Thelonious Monk's 100th Birthday Celebration

By Sierre Monk

Thelonious Monk's 100th Birthday Celebration

 

On Tuesday, October 10th, 2017, the T.S. Monk Sextet opened Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Lincoln Center, in celebration of Thelonious Monk’s centennial birthday. For two consecutive evenings, music lovers and Jazz enthusiasts alike, experienced T.S.’s interpretation of Monk classics, such as ‘Round Midnight’ and ‘In Walked Bud’. In between tunes, listeners were given a rare glimpse inside of the Monk family dynamic, as T.S. fondly recalled charismatic stories about his dad

 

T.S. Monk Sextet (pictured)

Willie Williams, Randall Haywood, April May Webb, Chris Berger, Patience Higgins, Theo Hill

Thelonious Monk 100th Birthday Celebration

T.S. talks growing up Monk

Thelonious Monk Singing

Singer, April May Webb, performs a stunning rendition of ‘Round Midnight’

April May Webb Singing

Pianist, Theo Hill, channels his inner Monk vibes 

Theo Hill Playing Piano

If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn

Willie Williams Playing Trumpet

 

 

 

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Wrong Is Right

By Sierre Monk

Wrong Is Right

 

"Those who always know best are a universal pest" -Piet Hein

Remember when you were in grade school? Let's say 7th period History with Mr. Brown. Maybe it was the end of May, only weeks left until your summer recess, and you were staring out of the window, mindlessly watching the sun bounce shadows off of concrete. Some of your classmates begin to giggle, as you realize an exasperated Mr. Brown has asked you a question about the Industrial Revolution, for the third time. Embarrassed, you open your mouth, yet you don't know the answer. You were caught daydreaming, and now all eyes, including Mr. Brown's no-nonsense pair, are on you. But before you get the chance to speak a syllable, Johnny Know-It-All, your proud teacher's pet, cuts you off with snarky, entitled urgency. A collectively exaggerated pre-teen sigh circulates the room and someone from the back sarcastically asks if Johnny Know-It-All wants a biscuit. As the bell abruptly chimes, signaling the end of the school day, students begin to quickly shuffle out of the door. Out of the corner of your eye, you watch the bully kid from the back waltz over to where Johnny is neatly packing up his notes, pencils and such. Bully Kid shoves all of Johnny Know-ItAll's belongings to the floor with ease. Your feelings of embarrassment have gently washed away, replaced with mild satisfaction You smirk quietly to yourself while thinking, no one likes a know it all.

 

Thelonious Monk Eating Apple

"Wrong is right" -Thelonious Monk

While contemplating what to write for this particular blog post, I had an interesting conversation with my father. I was sitting outside, reading, he was also outside wrapping up an over-the-phone interview. I've always liked to listen to my dad talk, his animated way of speaking being a cathartic release for me. The journalist wanted to know what my dad thought about the importance of a musicians ability to read and write sheet music, and how that process influences the artists creativity when composing. While answering the question but looking directly at me, my dad began to tell a story about Monk. Decades ago, there was a certain jazz pianist, also African-American, whom most would consider to be one of Monk's contemporaries. But unlike my grand father, this man did not read sheet music, nor did he write down his compositions. This was not the norm for the era, and many critics considered his music to be inferior, as such, and wrong. When asked his opinion, on the talent or lack-there-of, regarding "the man who can't read sheet music", Monk's answer was simple, clear and perfect. Wrong is right.

 

"What I learned is that it's arrogant to be certain of anything" -Lisa Gardner

 

When I think about how Wrong is right speaks to me, how I internalize Monk's simple words and break down the meaning in my psyche, my deepest thought is authenticity. Look, I'm an older millennial. #80sBaby90sRaisedMe. Like most of my peers, considering the current politically, socially and racially tense climate and history of our country, Wrong is right means f*ck the system. Rebel. Stick it to the Man. Resist. On the superficial forefront of my conscience, I interpret Wrong is right to be the equivalent of an open mind. To not sweat the small stuff. To not take myself so seriously. To be light of tongue and heart. But when I dig deep, pulling back the layers of my personality like an onion, and as I critically think, the meaning of Wrong is right reveals itself in my innermost thoughts. It's as if a flashing, neon display light has been plugged in my brain, those three little words written clearly and boldly, almost vibrating with intensity. Always be your authentic self, because you are good enough. It is so much easier to pretend to be something that you are not. Sometimes, and this is when it gets really scary, we create such a strong facade, while expertly masking our true selves, at which point we become disoriented and lose track of who we really are. As you look, the face in the mirror may be the same but the soul is truly unrecognizable.

 

"There are no wrong notes, some are just more right than others" -Thelonious Monk

 

So now I'm lost, I don't really know who I am, but I know what society wants me to be. How do I find myself again? Congratulations, you made it to the other side. The first step is to smash those rose colored glasses, and now, behold! Your vision is clear. Well, for starters, the process of self-enlightenment is slow, painful and exhausting. It can take years, maybe a lifetime and it's gotta be organic. You know that quote, heavily recycled and reused, the one about the wolf and the sheep. A century ago, whoever first wrote it down, read it, or applied it to his/her troubles or problems must've felt empowered, maybe even prophetic. But thanks to social media and pop culture, I'm sure you can scroll down your Instagram feed at this moment, and see the quote slapped on some stupid un-relatable meme. And isn't it ironic that if you cut the fluff and bullshit, ignore the likes and reposts, the fundamental message behind the wolf and the sheep will resonate with you today. Especially, say, if you're on a path towards self-discovery and the acknowledgement of the ideology that Wrong is right. Trust the process, but most importantly, trust yourself. Someone else's opinion honestly has nothing to do with you, be it constructive or negative. I'm on the same journey, maybe I've had a small head start, but I'm right next to you, putting one foot in front of the other. I am not Johnny, I don't know all of the answers, nor do I want to interrupt you. But from experience, I can tell you with confidence to try to always be kind to yourself, to suffocate any self-sabotaging thoughts before they manifest, to be exactly who you are and who you want to be, unapologetically, and that Wrong Is Right.

Thelonious Monk Started Attending Functions

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Worry Later

By Sierre Monk

Worry Later

People are really stressed out, especially Millennials. It’s no coincidence that almost 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug.  Life is f*cking stressful. When you think of life’s daily stressors, it’s easy to freak out. Money, parenting, politics, these are real, tangible, things that we fear. Let’s Worry Later in 2017. 

During a recording session, my grandfather was composing a song that he initially titled “Classified Information”.   After being questioned and pestered to describe the meaning of the song, he simply changed it to “Worry Later”, because he couldn’t think of a better name.  This thought process resonates with me. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Even if the small stuff may be big stuff to others.

  

Grandfather and Thelonious Monk

But worrying can be helpful when it spurs you to aggressively take action and solve problems. According to a case study conducted at Ontario’s Lakehead University, students who ranked high on the verbal intelligence scales tend to worry more frequently.  High verbal intelligence is essentially the “analyzing intel” skill, which is what people who tend to be more worrisome utilize often.

My maternal grandmother, God rest her soul, was what one might consider a “worry wart”. Everything concerned her, from small qualms and complaints to grandiose feelings of dread. At 30, I can candidly say that I do recognize similarities of her stress level in myself. Mainly, I worry about my future, the future of my loved ones, and presently, the future of America. Like any anxious person, some days are better than others and I try very hard every day to remind myself that my fears aren’t larger than I am.

Fear of the unknown can be insidious. Don’t let fear and worry paralyze you. Chances are if you worry, you can critically think, and figure out the most seemingly challenging of problems.

 

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Welcome to the Thelonious Monk Store Blog

By Julion St Hill

Welcome to the Thelonious Monk Store Blog

 

A blog can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The impact and/or entertainment value blogs possess are limitless and have become increasingly more important in this digital age. Honestly, without blogs there’s no telling what alternative path this world would have embarked on. 

 

Introducing the Thelonious Monk Store Blog. In this space our intentions are clear: promote integrity, honesty and originality, and the pursuit of forward-thinking concepts through various visual and sonic mediums. All that we do is in the name of legendary jazz musician, Thelonious Monk; his contributions to Jazz and global music as a whole, is a direct result of his dedication to seek and achieve the creative freedom we encourage here. 

Thelonious Monk Discussing Problem

Whether or not you are a jazz novice or have Monk’s faced stretched across your chest, curtesy of our Short Sleeve Monk Tee, we’re offering an exploration into the philosophies Monk carried that exceed the boundaries of jazz. Our content will cover our latest merchandise drops, artists collaborations, music and fashion events, and various historical and contemporary interpretations of Jazz and the culture that birthed it.

Among the piles of information dictating lifestyle choices and political beliefs, make sure to check in here to seek solace in reading content designed in dedication to Monk’s major life keys.

The Brooklyn Bridge

 

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THELONIOUS MONK 100th BIRTHDAY IMPROV SHOW

By Julion St Hill

THELONIOUS MONK 100th BIRTHDAY IMPROV SHOW

12 improvisors play Monk's classic album "Solo Monk" in different configurations from solos to larger ensembles.  Performers include Kris Davis, David Virelles, Shabaka Hutchings, Sam Newsome, Marc Ribot, Charlie Burnham, Erik Friedlander, Linda Oh, Trevor Dunn, Hamid Drake, Andrew Cyrille, and Deva Mahal. 

Andy Milne Playing Piano

Since its founding in 2005, NYC Winter Jazzfest has cemented a reputation as a hotbed of cultural discovery, presenting new and exciting sounds and sights throughout New York City. Praised by The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR and countless others, the festival, year-after-year, continues to grow at a rapid pace, from its original one-day, single-location program to a 2017 master plan that will put 150+ groups comprised of 600+ artists onto 13 stages over six nights across Downtown Manhattan.

In 2015, the festival was voted “#1 Jazz Festival in North America” by JazzTimes Magazine and has become a pivotal destination for arts leaders and cultural cognoscenti who visit the city early in the year.Playing Drumshttps://www.winterjazzfest.com/

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NYC WINTER JAZZ FEST: THE NEW SCHOOL PANEL

By Julion St Hill

NYC WINTER JAZZ FEST: THE NEW SCHOOL PANEL

THELONIOUS MONK MAKES A HUNDRED AT THE NEW SCHOOL, 5th Floor Theater - 55 W 13th St New York, NY 10011

Telling Thelonious Monk History

It’s a challenge to fully measure the impact of Thelonious Sphere Monk on modern improvised music. John Coltrane called him “a musical architect of the highest order”. His compositions and concept remain refreshingly vibrant and timeless relevant today. No student of modern jazz can bypass the lessons inherent in his use of dissonance, angularity and the blues.

 

Thelonious Monk Introducing History

Music School Opening Panel Discussion

 

A panel of musicians and writers inciuding T.S. Monk, drummer and son of Thelonious Monk, Cuban pianist David Virelles, composer, musician and friend of Monk, David Amram, noted historian and Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley, and music journalist Larry Blumenfeld – moderated and orchestrated by music historian Ashley Kahn, will convene to discuss and gauge his importance as celebrate the start of his centennial year. This panel will also include multimedia materials, including rare home recordings of Monk speaking and playing piano and a peak at some never-before-released music recorded for the French film Les Liasons Dangereuses (1960).

Music School Opening Meeting

Music School Opening Meeting

http://stylemagazine.com/news/2017/jan/06/2017-nyc-winter-jazzfest-opens-13th-season/

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