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 with minor fields in Jazz Studies at Indiana University, where she is now a faculty member in Arts Administration. Her book “David Baker – A Legacy in Music” was released November 2011 on IU Press, and Experiencing Chick Corea: A Listener’s Companion on Rowman and Littlefield, 2017.
As a touring jazz artist, she has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, such as the Indy Jazz Fest, Cleveland’s Nighttown, Birdland, the Manchester Craftsmen Guild, to name just a few. Groups under her leadership have toured Germany, 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 and Whaling City Sounds. 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, among others. Her newest project “SHEroes” features the world’s leading female jazz instrumentalists including Leni Stern, Jamie Baum, Ingrid Jensen, Jennifer Vincent, Ada Rovatti, Mayra Casales, Reut Regev, and more with a second release date of March 2018. Thomas Garner from Garageradio.com writes, “I was totally awed by the fine musicianship throughout”.