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Jon Irabagon / Comments

Jon Irabagon
Jon Irabagon  (almost 9 years ago)

Jon Irabagon, an alto saxophonist based in Astoria, Queens, won the 21st annual Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in Los Angeles on Sunday, securing the most prestigious honor available to a young jazz musician.

The panel of judges for the competition, which focuses on a different instrument each year, consisted of heavyweight saxophonists like Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter and Jane Ira Bloom. They selected the three winners from a pool of a dozen semifinalists. All three finalists performed alongside the jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater on Sunday night at the Kodak Theater, in a concert that doubled as a salute to the blues legend B.B. King.