John Beasley’s MONK’estra is a 17-piece BIG modern jazz BAND. Beasley captures the spirit of Monk’s unique quirkiness, offbeat accents, punchy dissonances, in his fresh arrangements of Monk’s and other classic and original compositions.
Beasley’s contemporary twist incorporates Afro-Cuban rhythms, modern jazz playing, hip hop, traditional big band instrumentation, stunningly atmospheric ensemble textures, powerfully driven by the propulsive rhythm team of bassist Rickey Minor, drummer Gary Novak, and Beasley’s own melodica.
MONK’estra Big Band:: John Beasley – Conductor/Arranger
Bob Sheppard, Jeff Driskill, Justo Almario, Tom Luer, Tommy Peterson
Bijon Watson, Willie Murillo, Ray Monterio, Brian Swartz, Gabe Johnson
Francisco Torres, Wendell Kelly, Steve Hughes, Ryan Dragon
BASS: Rickey Minor
DRUMS: Gary Novak
KEYBOARDS/MELODICA: John Beasley
August 18, 2013 (Hollywood, CA) – John Anson Ford Theatre
August 22, 2013 (San Francisco, CA) – SF Jazz Center
Beasley’s envelope-stretching arrangements, his extraordinary orchestrating abilities, imaginative soloing from players: a net result of some of the most mesmerizing big band music –individually and collectively– of recent memory.
- Don Heckman, International Review of Music
Five Stars: Spectacular! The ultra-hip, ultra-cool, ultra-swinging John Beasley’s MONK’estra rocked the house at Vitellos.’ Supersize figure in the jazz music world, Beasley led a dazzling assemblage of players.
– Cynthia Lum, Examiner.com
Beasley is a real genius. His imaginative, modern arrangements are artistic charts colored outside the lines of traditional big band music arrangements.
– Paul Edelstein, Sounds of Timeless Jazz