a journey into the silence of Thelonious Monk
Perhaps the most enigmatic talent to have emerged from the maelstrom of bebop in the 1940s, Thelonious Monk continues to exert a powerful influence on the jazz world, as pianist, composer and as an individual force of nature, who had the courage to go against the racism of his era. In the last seven years of his life, Monk stopped talking and playing, totally isolating himself from the world.
Marking the legacy of Thelonious Monk following the centenary of his birth in 2017 through a moving text by prominent Italian writer Stefano Benni, Theatralia's production explores the great pianist in this provocative jazz show directed by Filomena Campus. With music arrangements by Rowland Sutherland and video design by SDNA.
Award-winning vocalist Cleveland Watkiss and pianist Pat Thomas embody the great jazz pianist. They are joined by narrator and vocalist Filomena Campus, Rowland Sutherland (flute), Orphy Robinson (vibes), and Dudley Phillips (double bass). At the EFG London Jazz Festival, the all-star band was joined by Mark Mondesir (drums).
All Star Misterioso Band
vocalist & actor
Cleveland Watkiss is a British vocalist, actor and composer. Winner of Parliamentary Jazz Awards for Best Vocalist of the Year 2017 and MOBO Awards nominee 2017 as Best Jazz Act and winner of Wire/Guardian Jazz Awards and the London Jazz Awards in 2010.
'Best male jazz singer in Britain'
'A jazz legend'
narrator & vocalist
London based jazz vocalist and lyricist Filomena Campus is a theatre director and lecturer as well. Her diverse influences range from modern literature and art to the culture of her native Sardinia.
“her scatting is literally something else, [...] a modernist in her approach”
Jazz in Europe
Black Top's Pat Thomas has an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Flautist Rowland Sutherland has a superb sound and technique, and is undoubtedly one of the very best flautists on the British scene."
One of the leading marimba players, vibraphone players, multi-instrumentalist, composers and musical directors. He has written for Theatre, Television, Opera, provided music scores for the 2012 London Olympics. Together with Pat Thomas he forms Black Top.
"Vibes player Orphy Robinson is a national treasure." - Telegraph
on double bass
Playing both double and electric bass, Dudley Phillips is a creative musician working in the field of contemporary songwriting, jazz, folk and world music. He has contributed to a large body of recordings, toured internationally and wrote album tracks for artists Monica Vasconcelos, Perfect Houseplants and Filomena Campus.
Jazz drummer Mark Mondesir is one of UK's finest. Comfortable in any genre, from jazz to rock to funk to fusion, he has worked with the likes of Courtney Pine, John McLaughlin and Julian Joseph.
Get a taste of the production
Campus honours Monk centenary. Triumph at the EFG London Jazz Festival
"Una compagine che doveva essere - ed e' stata - garanzia di successo e applausi"
A powerful and moving performance, with Monk’s matchless music and superb musicians to lead you through.
The story of the eccentric pianist who shrugged off prejudice to become a jazz icon is ripe for dramatisation... A crime to miss it
London One Radio
Listen to the show dedicated to Monk Misterioso
"Upon the bones of Stefano Benni’s clever text, in MONK Misterioso Filomena Campus and her supremely gifted musicians have conjured a glorious incarnation of The Man and his mastery. Original, perceptive, and as steeped in love and music as Thelonious was himself. What a privilege to be involved in its wonder in the most minor way!"
"I found MONK Misterioso absolutely amazing on so many levels. Starting with the phenomenal and complicated talent of Monk himself, the show built up such a powerful atmosphere that made me long to see it again. Setting aside the fact that I love Monk's music anyway, as a theatrical performance MM really delivered, thanks to every single member of the ensemble. Well done, Theatralia, and much kudos to everyone involved - Filomena, Cleveland, Orphy, Pat, Rowland, Mark, Dudley...have I left anyone out? Stefano Benni, too! And enduring thanks to the enigmatic Mr. Monk, who so profoundly said: "Music is like silence, but with more noise..."
EFG London Jazz Festival
Saturday 18 November at Kings Place
Serious Sing workshop
12:00pm | Hall Two
EFG London Jazz Festival hosts a vocal workshop with Filomena Campus and Cleveland Watkiss starting from Monk's tunes.
6:30pm | Hall Two
Panel discussion about the relationship between jazz musicians and mental health with Chris Philips (JazzFM), Emma Mamo (Mind), Errol Francis (Culture&), Margaret Busby and Kevin le Gendre.
8:00pm | Hall Two
Performance of Monk Misterioso featuring the All Star Misterioso Band and special guests Mark Mondesir (drums) and Jean Toussaint (sax).
9:30pm | Foyer
JazzFM's Chris Philips and Ruth Fisher host a DJ-night inspired by Monk's music.