Diane Monroe, violin

Diane Monroe's solo jazz work, having begun with her tenured positions in the Max Roach Double Quartet and the Uptown String Quartet, was proclaimed by Jim Ferguson of Jazz Times to have displayed, "stunning musicianship...". Her performances, compositions, and arrangements have been highlighted on the Cosby Show, Mr. Rogers, Carnegie Hall, the North Sea and Mellon Jazz Festivals, and Zurich's Tonhalle, to name a few. She is seen performaing in the movie, Music of the Heart, starring Meryl Streep.

During her four year membership with The String Trio of New York, Monroe toured with Joe Lovano, Anthony Davis, and Oliver Lake. She has also been honored to perform with celebrated artists such as Reggie Workman, Cecil Bridgewater, Odean Pope, Tyrone Brown, Dave Grusin, Bobby Zankel, Steve Wilson, Uri Caine, John Blake, Tom Lawton, Jim Ridl, Mark O'Connor, Regina Carter, and in a special "Jazz at Jennings" (a benefit presented by the late Peter Jennings), she performed with Percy Heath, Jimmy Cobb, Renee Rosnes, Todd Coolman, Wyclif Gordon, and Jon Fadis.

As an educator she has taught at Oberlin College, and is presently an adjunct professor at Temple University and Swarthmore College. She has given workshops for the coveted Op. 118 East Harlem Violin Program, and Berklee College of Music in Boston. At the Verbier Festival 2000 in Switzerland, Monroe conducted the Fiddlefest Jazz Orchestra, featuring the violinist, Kennedy.

Monroe's twenty-five year career within the "classical world" has afforded her performances with renowned musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Arnold Steinhardt. In 2005, Ms. Monroe performed a recital presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, nicknamed, "Infused with the Blues". In 2010, the esteemed composer/master teacher, David N. Baker wrote a violin concerto for Ms. Monroe, which she premiered in 2010 with the Duluth-Superior Symphony, with Markand Thaker conducting. As a continuing advocate for "New Music", she has enjoyed perfoming works by Andrew Rudin, Julia Wolfe, and she recently premiered two sonata works by Robert Capanna (Former Philadelphia Settlement School's Executive Director), and Philip Maneval, (Philadelphia Chamber Music Society's Executive Director) at Curtis Institute's Field Hall in 2012.

Monroe appeared with her jazz quartet at the Terrace Theater/Kennedy Center in D.C., as a participant in the 2012 Mary Louy Williams "Women in Jazz" Festival. Presently, Diane performs with her jazz quartet/quintet and duo with vibraphonist Tony Miceli, which will release their first cd in mid-February 2014. Later next year, Monroe will premier/perform her work, “The Self-Evident Poem”, at Virginia Tech University, music set to words by poet/activist Nikki Giovanni. In December of this year, Monroe will perform the premiere of her newest work, "Tanaina Dreams", a jazz piece scored for beginner/intermediate level string orchestra, two solo violins, and vibraphone. This piece is dedicated to and will be performed by the Hiland Mountain Women's prison facility in Anchorage, AK.

As a composer/collaborator within multiple disciplines, Monroe has produced jazz and popular music scores for projects such as, "The Blues Book Project", (a concert) with artist/painter Curlee Holten/1998; "One Wall Missing", and "Source Code, Candide" (two plays) for Tap-It/New Works Theater Ensemble/ '03-'04; "Beans", (for silent animated film) for Relache Contemporary Music Ensemble ('03); "Words" and "Lift the Youth", for Philadelphia's Art Sanctuary and Opera Company's Hip H'Opera Project/('07); The Cave, a children's interactive drama/ (2010); and, "Ain't I a Woman", a theater documentary presently touring, for the Core Ensemble. Monroe has collaborated most recently with dancer/choreographers Lisa Kraus, Germaine Ingram, and Leah Stein, performing her original unaccompanied improvisations on themes from Bach to relevant social issues.

Monroe is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, University of the Arts, and attended Oberlin Conservatory and Michigan State University.