John Beasley is set to perform in New York at the Jazz Standard on Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21 with sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm in celebration of his upcoming release, presents MONK’estra, Volume 1. Beasley will be joined by a very special vocal guest on the opening night, followed by critically acclaimed violinist Regina Carter on Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20.
Beasley has shared stages with some of the most important names in jazz during his three-decade career. From his days as a member of Freddie Hubbard’s quintet and one of Miles Davis’ last touring bands to his role as Music Director for Jazz Day galas for the Thelonious Monk Institute, Beasley has had a first-hand involvement with the genre’s never-ending evolution.
Thelonious Monk is a Mount Rushmore figure in the creation of modern jazz. As the centennial of his birth rapidly approaches, Beasley–pianist, conductor and arranger–has grappled with the complex composer’s legacy with his versatile big band riffing on the wit and unmistakable architecture of the Monk songbook with irrepressible energy and swinging abandon on presents MONK’estra, Volume 1, available August 19 on Mack Avenue Records.
The album and band have its roots in a commission from Los Angeles’s Luckman Jazz Orchestra. When the gig was over, Beasley felt inspired to search deeper and continued to write more arrangements long after the performance, eventually assembling some of the finest musicians in Los Angeles to bring the charts to life in a musician’s union rehearsal room.
Amassing enough arrangements and developing a signature feel, he took the band public at Los Angeles’s jazz incubator, the Blue Whale, to sold-out crowds. With a fifteen-piece ensemble, which includes first-call horns like Bob Sheppard, Bijon Watson, Rashawn Ross, Dontae Winslow, Beasley conducted the band with an improviser’s eye-free flowing and open to solos that add to the narrative. Since that casual debut in 2013, the band has become a fixture on the scene, performing at Disney Hall, Jazz Standard, Ford Amphitheatre, SFJAZZ twice and most recently at the Playboy Jazz Festival held at the world famous Hollywood Bowl.
John Beasley Big Band Personnel:
John Beasley / conductor & arranger
James Genus / bass
Terreon Gully / drums
Thursday August 18 – Sunday, August 21
7:30pm & 9:30pm
116 E 27th St.
New York, NY 10016