Thelonious Sphere Monk

b. October 10, 1917 Rocky Mount, North Carolina

d. February 17, 1982 in seclusion New York City

parents - Barbara Batts and Thelonious Monk

1947 married his long-time love Nellie Smith and later had two children, Thelonious, Jr. and Barbara (1954-1984)

raised in New York and received piano lessons at age 11

two years later he accompanied his mother's singing at a local Baptist church and began playing piano at parties in Harlem

led a trio at a neighborhood bar around 1934, then spent two years touring with an evangelist

by the age of 13 he had won the weekly amateur contest at the Apollo Theater so many times that he was barred from entering

briefly attended New York's Juilliard School of Music in the late '30s

at the age of 19 joined the house band at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem, where along with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and a handful of other players, he developed the style of jazz that came to be known as bebop

The Official Thelonious Monk Website

The Life and Times of Thelonious Sphere Monk

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Tom Bolling's home page