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 is now a faculty member. Her book “David Baker – A Legacy in Music” was released November 2011 on IU Press. and her forthcoming “A Listener’s Guide To Chick Corea” (Rowan & Littlefield) due out in 2017. Groups under her leadership have toured Germany, Italy, Japan, opened for acts such as Tower of Power, Sting, the Dixie Dregs, Yes, and more. As a touring jazz artist, she has performed at many prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, such as the Indy Jazz Fest, Cleveland’s Nighttown, Louisville’s Jazz Factory, the W.C.Handy Festival, Jazz in July in Bloomington and Cincinnati, Columbus’ Jazz & Rib Fest, to name just a few.
Herzig’s Owl Studios holiday CD “Peace on Earth,” was followed by a CD/ DVD combo entitled “Come With Me” on March 8, 2011. Her previous releases received rave reviews. Thomas Garner from Garageradio.com writes, “I was totally awed by the fine musicianship throughout”. As a recipient of the 1994 DownBeat Magazine Award for her composition “Let’s Fool One,” and with several Big Band Arrangements published with the University of Northern Colorado Press, Herzig has also gathered international recognition for her compositional and arranging skills.
The repertoire of the Monika Herzig Acoustic Project includes originals and arrangements of standard repertoire, such as John Lennon’s Imagine, Cole Porter’s Night and Day, or Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia. Her newest recording, “The Whole World in Her Hands” features international jazz women leaders from all corners of the globe, none of whom had ever before played with one another, and featured many of Monika’s original compositions and re-arrangement of the standard, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” This groundbreaking project also featured the original compositions of several of her new bandmates, was also produced by noted producer, Suzi Reynolds, and will be released in early 2016.