Over the course of two albums, bandleader/composer/arranger John Beasley has reimagined Thelonious Monk’s iconic compositions through his inventive, versatile MONK’estra – a big band able to deftly navigate the legend’s eccentricities from a variety of perspectives, from boisterous swing to raucous funk to Afro-Cuban explosiveness. MONK’estra, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 each garnered a pair of GRAMMY® Award nominations, alongside widespread critical acclaim. Beasley veers off in new directions on his stunning third album in the series, MONK’estra Plays John Beasley. As the title implies, this time out the band shifts focus to its fearless leader’s own estimable compositions and piano playing, alongside a quartet of Monk classics and a tune apiece by Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker.
GRAMMY® Award Winning and Emmy nominee, John Beasley is a versatile pianist, composer, arranger who began his career in his 20s backing jazz icons Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. Since then, Beasley has performed with a wide range of artists, including Dianne Reeves, Ivan Lins, John Patitucci, Chaka Khan, Christian McBride, Carly Simon, to name a few. He was music director for international tours with Steely Dan, AR Rahman and Queen Latifah and co-MD for Chucho Valdes.He is the Music Director for the International Jazz Day global gala concerts hosted by the Herbie Hancock Jazz Institute, which earned him an Emmy nomination for 2016 Jazz at the White House hosted by President Obama.
Beasley’s work as a composer-arranger extends beyond jazz, with many credits in television such as Star Trek: TNG, Cheers, and Fame; and in films scored by 15-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman 1917, James Bond’s Spectre and Skyfall, Finding Dory, He Named Me Malala, Shawshank Redemption, and Let them all Talk.As a recording artist Beasley has a dozen albums and has earned nine GRAMMY nominations. His recent project is MONK’estra a big-band which recorded 3 albums. The trilogy received six nominations and one win. He also earned a Latin Grammy nomination for an album he produced with Portuguese singer Maria Mendes with the Metropole Orchestra.