GRAMMY® Award-nominated recording artist John Beasley leads MONK’estra, a smashing 15-piece big band that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular music – the off-beat melodies and humor, strange beauty and unbounded swing in fresh arrangements flavored with New Orleans spirit, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban rhythms and atmospheric colors.
“Some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.” Don Heckman, IROM
Beasley—a far-ranging pianist, composer, and arranger who’s worked with everyone from Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard to Dianne Reeves and Steely Dan—is easily one of the most versatile musicians in jazz. He has led a sparkling career that has balanced work as a bandleader, a first-call keyboardist, composer, and arranger for film and television, along with being Musical Director for the Monk Institute gala concerts and several singing-competition TV shows including serving various roles with American Idol since 2005.
Beasley assembled MONK’estra to explore Monk’s music with a band made up of some of the jazz world’s finest instrumentalists. MONK’estra re-imagines Thelonious Monk’s compositions with an eye to the future; a killer contemporary big band that pays loving tribute to the master’s music while infusing it with contemporary harmonies, unstoppable grooves, and a contagious sense of fun.
-- Photo credit: © Eric Wolfinger