Aretha Franklin will receive the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz's Founder's Award at the organization's 25th anniversary event in Washington, D.C. next month. The soul legend will be honored at a gala event held at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater on September 12th, which will be sponsored by Cadillac and feature appearances from luminaries such as Madeleine Albright, Quincy Jones and Colin Powell.
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In addition to celebrating the music of Franklin, the institution will also present its 2011 International Jazz Piano Competition Semifinals, in which 12 pianists will compete. The performances will be critiqued by a panel of judges including Herbie Hancock, Ellis Marsalis, Danilo Perez and Jason Moran. Three finalists will then go on to compete for scholarship prizes and a recording contract with Concord Music Group.