Norwegian jazz guitarist wins international jazz competition

Norwegian guitarist Lage Lund, 27, has won the prestigious 18th annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

Lage Lund og George Benson live (foto: Latshaw/Waldoo - Brooks Institute Of Photography)

Lund, a native of Skien, Norway, was awarded the $20,000 first prize after being selected from three finalists and 10 semifinalists by a panel of jazz guitar luminaries -- Pat Martino, John Pizzarelli, Earl Klugh, Bill Frisell, Stanley Jordan and Russell Malone.

“Winning the prize means a better chance at booking more jobs,” Lund said. “I’m currently planning a US tour with my band.”

Lund began playing guitar at age 13. By the time he was 16, he was performing at local clubs with his own jazz trio. Lund received a full scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Bill Pierce, Hal Crook, and George Garzone. After graduating, he moved to New York and received a grant from the Fulbright Foundation. He was later accepted into the Juilliard Jazz Studies program, making him the first guitarist in the history of the program. Lund also has been the recipient of the Jimi Hendrix Award and the Max Roach Scholarship.

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz was established in 1986 in memory of the renowned jazz pianist and composer. Its mission is to preserve America's legacy of jazz through performance and education. The Institute offers the world's most promising young musicians college level training by America's jazz masters and presents public school-based jazz education programs for young people around the world. Additionally, the Institute provides scholarships, performance opportunities, and worldwide recognition to gifted young musicians through its many education programs.

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