In 1987, the pedagogical institute in Weingarten, Germany awarded a scholarship for a one-year exchange program at the University of Alabama to one of their students, jazz pianist Monika Herzig. Together with her partner and guitarist Peter Kienle, she arrived in the States on a one-way ticket, with one suitcase of belongings and one guitar in August 1988.
Since then she has completed her Doctorate in Music Education and Jazz Studies at Indiana University, where she taught for three decades. She is the author of David Baker – A Legacy in Music, published in 2011 by IU Press, Experiencing Chick Corea with Rowman & Littlefield, 2017, co-editor ofJazz and Gender (Routledge, 2022) and the previous editor of Jazz Education in Research and Practice (IU Press). Currently she is Professor of Artistic Research and Dean of Music Education at the Jam Music Lab University, Vienna. She is the host of Talking Jazz, a radio program/ podcast broadcast weekly on WICR and WETF, as well as on podcast services and youtube.
As a touring jazz artist, she has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, such as the Canaris Mas Jazz Festival, Jazz Tales Festival, Women in Jazz Festival, Indy Jazz Fest, , the W.C.Handy Festival, to name just a few. Groups under her leadership have toured the US, Europe, and Japan, opened for acts such as Tower of Power, Sting, the Dixie Dregs, Yes, and more.
She has released more than a dozen CDs under her leadership on her own ACME Records as well as Owl Studios, Whaling City Sound, Jazz Urbane, and Savant. Her awards include a 1994 Down Beat Magazine Award for Best Original Song, a Jazz Journalist Association Hero 2015 award, as well as grants from the NEA, the Indiana Arts Commission, MEIEA, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Chamber Music America, Indiana University, among others. Her project “SHEROES” (Whaling City Sound, Sabant) features the world’s leading female jazz instrumentalists including Leni Stern, Jamie Baum, Jennifer Vincent, Rosa Avila, Mayra Casales, Reut Regev, Ada Rovatti, and Ingrid Jensen and was featured on NPR’s Here and Now as well as cited as one of the best releases of 2018 in DownBeat Magazine, placing #31 on the year-end Jazz Week Charts. Thomas Garner from Garageradio.com writes, “I was totally awed by the fine musicianship throughout”.
“Distinctive originals and well-chosen standards reveal Herzig’s warmhearted, reflective side and her cleverly playful nature.“
-Nancy Ann Lee, Jazz Times contributor and co-editor of MusicHound Jazz: The Essential Album Guide
“A lovely example of a thoroughly schooled, thoroughly modern jazz pianist.”
-Cherilee Wadsworth Walker, Eastern Illinois University