The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz have announced their 2014 Trumpet Competition semifinalists.

The nonprofit organization, often nicknamed the ‘Monk Institute,’ is dedicated to preserving the art of jazz performance all around the world by ensuring that promising young musicians have access to an advanced education in the arts. Their International Jazz Competition is just one way of achieving that goal; offering a formal process to find and nurture the next generation of jazz masters.

The competition focuses on a different musical instrument each year, and this year’s thirteen semifinalists represent some of the finest young trumpeters from around the world competing for the chance to win a $25,000 scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Records.

The semifinalists for the 2014 Trumpet Competition are:

  • Benny Benack III (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Alejandro Berti (Caracas, Venezuela)
  • Chris Burbank (Bedford, NH)
  • Billy Buss (Berkeley, CA)
  • Mike Cottone (Rochester, NY)
  • Philip Dizack (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  • Marquis Hill (Chicago, IL)
  • Alphonso Horne (Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Aidan Lombard (Kenilworth, IL)
  • Gabriel King Medd (Coralville, Iowa)
  • Hermon Mehari (Kansas City, MO)
  • Adam O’Farrill (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Mao Sone (Chiba, Japan).

These thirteen musicians have already performed with some of the biggest names in jazz, despite only being in the dawn of their musical careers. Adam O’Farrill, son of pianist Arturo O’Farrill has already shared a stage with the likes of Chick Corea, Joe Lovano, and Terri Lyne Carrington, to name just a few. Philip Dizack, whose performance at the 2012 Iowa City Jazz Festival was praised by The Jazz Line, has worked with the likes of Bobby Watson, Greg Tardy and Eddie Palmieri. Alphonso Horne, recipient of the 2003 DownBeat Student Award for Outstanding Trumpet Soloist, has already worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, Patti Labelle, Wynton Marsalis, and 1998 Monk Institute Vocal Competition winner Jane Monheit. Iowa-native Gabriel Medd also worked with the likes of Roy Hargrove, Ron Carter, and Charlie Rosen before being named Outstanding Undergraduate Jazz Soloist by DownBeat magazine last year. Medd was also called a “stand out” performer after The Jazz Line first saw him jam with Ambrose Akinmusire at the 2011 Iowa City Jazz Festival.

The 13 contestants will perform for a panel of jazz luminaries that includes Ambrose Akinmusire, Randy Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, and others on Saturday, November 8 at a free event taking place at Schoenberg Hall on the UCLA campus from 12-5 p.m.

Just three performers will advance to the competition finals, which will take place the next day, Sunday, November 9, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, CA. Immediately after the competition has concluded, the winner will be celebrated with an All-Star Gala Concert hosted by Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, and Kevin Spacey.

Other special guests at this year’s event include Pharrell Williams, John Mayer, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Wayne Shorter, Queen Latifah, Don Cheadle, Chaka Khan, Marcus Miller, and Joshua Redman, and many more.

Bill Clinton will also receive the Maria Fisher Founder’s Award in recognition of his contributions to jazz. And, if we’re lucky, he may play a few notes on the saxophone at the all-star gala as well.

Congratulations to all the semifinalists.