The MONKTET began in the late 70's as the brainchild of L.A. based musician, arranger, and educator, John Magruder. (1925-2003). Then named the Magruder Monktet, John supplied arrangements of both the music of Thelonious Monk, and his own original pieces, as a way for he and his friends to get together and play weekly, with a few performances around L.A. After John's passing in 2003, his widowed wife Joy carried on the regular rehearsals in their home in Sherman Oaks. She later passed the band over to husband Larry Williams, who has now brought the music to Orlando.
Musical director Larry Williams says of the group, “We are now called simply “The Monktet” though the band goes forward in Magruder's honor.” Most of the current arrangements are Larry's, (with a few charts held over from the original band) solely based on the music of Thelonious Monk.
Thelonious Monk is, in the opinions of many Jazz greats, a cornerstone of modern jazz, though he was also grossly misunderstood and underrated for long periods of his early years. His compositions range from the introspective and beautiful, “Round Midnight” to the borderline insanity of “Trinkle Twinkle”, and have served as models in many composition classes as well as regular call tunes on jazz stages around the world.
The new Monktet consists of all Orlando heavyweights and they certainly need no introduction. John Depaola- trumpet, Dave Mackenzie- alto sax, Eddie Marshall-tenor sax, Terry Myers- baritone sax, Pat Gullotta- trombone, Roger Patenaude- guitar, Mark Mckee- piano, Jeff Green- bass, Paul Parker- drums