Musical pioneer Thelonious Monk would have celebrated his 92nd birthday today. Often regarded as a founder of bebop, Monk was an influential American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique style and made countless contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including  “Round Midnight,” “Blue Monk,” “and “Well, You Needn’t.”

Monk was born October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina but moved to New York City in 1922. He started playing the piano at the age of six. In his lifetime, he collaborated with other musical legends like Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Monk died of a stroke on February 17, 1982. In 1993, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2006, a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.–BB