Monk Rowe is the Joe Williams Director of the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College. He has directed this project since its inception in 1995. In the fall of 2015 he released Jazz Tales from Jazz Legends, on Couper Press. The book compiles engaging and informative excerpts from the oral history interviews gathered for the College. Monk has presented programs on the Archive resource at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers, the Jazz Education Network, the International Society of Music Educators, and numerous historical associations. He is an instructor for a successful 6-week online MOOC entitled “Jazz: The Music, The Stories, The Players,” which has run twice on the EdX platform. In 2018 Monk was honored to receive a SAMMY Award for Outstanding Educator.
As a composer Monk writes original work and commissioned arrangements for a variety of ensembles, including the Utica Symphony, the Fredonia Alumni Jazz Ensemble, the Allegria Trio, and numerous scholastic bands. His CD “Jazz Life” contains compositions written for and dedicated to nine of the artists interviewed for the Fillius Jazz Archive. A solo piano recording was released in 2011 entitled “At the Piano.”
Monk performs frequently as a solo pianist or as a saxophonist with his own quartet. His tastes in music are eclectic and the group effectively adapts to any situation. Monk frequently presented educational-based performances and/or lectures at schools, community centers and libraries, with a specific focus on jazz, blues, and rock & roll.