Thelonious Monk

Composer / Jazz Musician / Pianist

Born: 10 October 1917
Died: 17 February 1982
Birthplace: Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Best known as: Influential and idiosyncratic bop jazz pianist

Name at birth: Thellous Junior Monk

Thelonious Sphere Monk is considered one of the most important (and eccentric) jazz composers of the century. One of the early practitioners of bebop during the 1940s and '50s, his complex compositions featured irregular rhythms, dissonant sounds and a quirky sense of humor. He was the composer of such jazz standards as "'Round Midnight" and "Straight No Chaser."

Extra credit:

His son is noted jazz drummer T. S. Monk.

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