Preview | ‘Round Midnight Reconsidered

Jewish cultural organization Reboot’s all-night art and cultural festival DAWN brings to you ‘Round Midnight Reconsidered at San Francisco’s Light Rail Studios, on June 4. This ‘meditation’ will reinterpret ‘Round Midnight – one of the most venerated ballads of jazz composer-pianist Thelonious Monk.

Over the course of eight hours Bay Area guitarist John Schott, who first began this meditation in June 2021, will approach each piece of the ballad as one would approach the Torah – with Jewish references and imagery guiding the improvisation. All 48 measures of the ballad will be performed for 10 minutes instead of the usual 90 seconds, creating a unique, eight-hour-long retelling. A supremely talented ensemble of over a dozen musicians will help Schott transform music into a medium for spiritual fulfillment. To add to the experience, photos, texts and portions of the score will be projected on the walls during the concert.

Photo of the Original Score

Joining Schott for this performance will be vocalists Aurora Josephson and Cecilia Englehart; Nikita Manin and Cory Wright on woodwinds; cellist Crystal Pascucci; trombonist Scott Larson; bassists Lisa Mezzacappa and Safa Shokrai; Kanoko Nishi on the koto; and percussionists Mark Clifford, Suki O’Kane, Jason Levis and John Hanes.

Check out this snippet of Schott’s original solo version of the piece: