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Thelonious Sphere Monk Jnr., 27 December 1949, New York City, New York, USA. Inevitably, Monk grew up in a musically aware household. His father and his fathers friends, who included Max Roach (who gave the child lessons), Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, were all prime movers in the development of jazz in the 50s and 60s. At school he ran into problems with music teachers who could not understand his fathers music and hence resented his fame. Determined to build a career of his own in music, Monk sought tuition outside school, gradually turning to drums as his instrument. When he was 16 years old he was given lessons by Roach and at age 20 joined his father, with whom he played until 1975. He then moved into R&B, forming the band Circles, which included singers Yvonne Fletcher and his sister, Barbara.
In the early 80s both young women died and he subsequently helped form the Thelonious Monk...