In 2015, Jazzmeia Horn strode onto the stage of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and left a panel of esteemed judges slack-jawed in astonishment. For her performance, she selected “Evidence” — a devilishly difficult Monk number that demands total dynamic control from the performer — and jubilantly scatted her way through its vaulting melody and twisting meter. Horn’s victory launched her career as one of the world’s most daring young singers in any style. On her GRAMMY-nominated 2017 debut, A Social Call, Horn recalls the likes of Nina Simone and Betty Carter as she serenades and scats through an unapologetically urgent, political take on jazz. She lambasts social structures that have kept people poor, attaches gospel standards to Coltrane themes, and renders ballads with frank poignancy. A student of past masters, Horn is a brave new voice for jazz’s vocal resurgence and a mighty clarion for its future. In October 2017, Duke Performances staged an elaborate one-hundredth birthday party for one of North Carolina’s most inventive artists and a true pioneer of jazz, Thelonious Monk. For ten days, many of jazz’s greatest musicians filled the arts venue and former warehouse Durham Fruit & Produce with the sounds of Monk’s songbook, sometimes playing it faithfully and sometimes splintering it entirely. There were engaging talks, spontaneous improvisations, and a listening room where fans could spend time with Monk’s records. Raleigh artist André Leon Gray turned the building into a shrine to Monk’s genius and a playhouse for his legacy. Durham brimmed with “moments when the spirit of Monk’s piano playing got called up and shocked back to life in the air of the present day,” according to a rave review of the festival in The New York Times. This season, Duke Performances returns to the historic warehouse for another extended musical meditation, In the Jazz Tradition, a seven-day series featuring some of the most important women vocalists in jazz today. In recent years, a legion of jazz singers has drawn inspiration from flashpoints in race relations and the struggle for gender equality, commanding a renewed sense of urgency with their music and reaffirming the relevance and popular appeal of jazz itself. Durham visual artist Stacy Lynn Waddell — who, much like the series’ singers, explores how traditional forms can express contemporary themes — will transform the space, setting the scene for a timely update on familiar jazz traditions.