Dan Willenberg

Craig Freeman

For classically-trained jazz pianist Dan Willenberg, Thelonius Monk is a creative genius who was both generous with his fellow musicians and uncompromising in his mission to live his music his way. In a free-ranging interview with Craig Freeman, Willenberg shares a personal vision of the sometimes-misunderstood jazz master, highlighting some special aspects of his playing and personality. 

Willenberg plays the Thelonius Monk tunes "'Round Midnight," "Bye-Ya," "Let's Cool One," "In Walked Bud," plus Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss." 


Pianist Dan Willenberg and his trio will host an open jazz jam session in a Crescendo Academy-sponsored event on Wednesday, June 21. Freewill offerings will be collected in support of scholarships that help students attend lessons and group classes at Crescendo Academy, which offers musical instruction for all ages on nearly all instruments. Willenberg, a Crescendo jazz instructor, and executive director Audey Lipsey joined Cara Lieurance to preview the event.