Plenty of great pianists out there for sure. These are the finalists for the Monk competition, which takes place later today in Washington DC.

Tom Oren, who at the semi-finals played ‘Lester Left Town’ (Wayne Shorter), ‘Lush Life’ (Billy Strayhorn) and ‘52nd Street Theme’ (Thelonious Monk).

Maxime Sanchez whose material was ‘Blue Dog’ (an original), ‘You Are Too Beautiful’ (by Rodgers and Hart) and ‘317 East 32nd Street Theme’ (by Lennie Tristano).

Isaiah Thompson, who interpreted ‘Manteca’ (by Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo), ‘The IT Department’ (an original) and ‘Chelsea Bridge’ (by Billy Strayhorn).

Monty Alexander, Joanne Brackeen, Cyrus Chestnut, Herbie Hancock, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez and Renee Rosnes are among the judges for the final. No pressure, at all.

Neil Cowley – SOLD OUT

With the Neil Cowley trio “on hiatus” just what does the future now hold for the award-winning pianist, composer and bandleader? This year he has concentrated on remixes and composition, and while details are fairly sketchy so far, for the first new sighting in a while an early-2019 show planned for south London promises according to his still new-ish management set-up “100% unreleased material”. Keen to get a ticket? Well tough luck this time as the comeback 7 February Ghost Notes show in Peckham has already sold out.