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John Beasley's MONK'estra
Monk Big Band Tribute

John Beasley’s MONK’estra

Oct 15
Miner Auditorium

A far-ranging pianist and arranger who’s worked with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Queen Latifah and Steely Dan, John Beasley leads a smashing 17-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 hip-hop, Afro-Cuban rhythms and atmospheric colors.

In his review for the International Review of Music, renowned jazz critic Don Heckman described MONK’estra’s arrangements as “some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.” On the heels of their Mack Avenue Records debut, MONK’estra, Vol. 1, the band returns with the brand new MONK’estra, Vol. 2, featuring wildly inventive takes on Monk classics including “Crepuscule with Nellie,” “Ugly Beauty,” “Evidence,” and “Criss-Cross.” Easily one of the busiest and most versatile musicians in jazz, Beasley has led a sparkling career that has balanced work as a bandleader, a first-call keyboardist, composer, arranger, and Music Director for major tours, film and television. He assembled MONK’estra to explore Monk’s music as well as the work of Duke Ellington, Benny Golson and his own adventurous originals 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.

Big band tribute to Monk at 100 at SFJAZZ [SF Chronicle]

Artist Website

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A killer contemporary big band that pays loving tribute to Monk's music while infusing it with contemporary harmonies, unstoppable grooves, and a contagious sense of fun.

Beasley hears things in Monk's music that no one imagined! And he can make an orchestra sing like an uncaged bird.

Quincy Jones

Beasley hears things in Monk's music that no one imagined! And he can make an orchestra sing like an uncaged bird.

Quincy Jones

Personnel

John Beasley conductor/arranger/piano 
Bijon Watson trumpet
Jamie Hovorka trumpet
Rashawn Ross trumpet
Brian Swartz trumpet
Ryan Dragon trombone
Francisco Torres trombone
Wendell Kelly trombone
Lemar Guillary trombone
Bob Sheppard saxophone
Danny Janklow saxophone
Tom Luer saxophone
Tommy Peterson saxophone
Adam Schroeder saxophone
Ben Shepherd bass
Kendrick Scott drums

John Beasley's MONK'estra reinvents Thelonious Monk for the 21st Century.

LA Weekly

Personnel

John Beasley conductor/arranger/piano 
Bijon Watson trumpet
Jamie Hovorka trumpet
Rashawn Ross trumpet
Brian Swartz trumpet
Ryan Dragon trombone
Francisco Torres trombone
Wendell Kelly trombone
Lemar Guillary trombone
Bob Sheppard saxophone
Danny Janklow saxophone
Tom Luer saxophone
Tommy Peterson saxophone
Adam Schroeder saxophone
Ben Shepherd bass
Kendrick Scott drums

John Beasley's MONK'estra reinvents Thelonious Monk for the 21st Century.

LA Weekly

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