Monk's 100th Birthday Series: To commemorate Thelonious Monk's centennial, we present a trio of performances celebrating his legacy.
«John Beasley's MONK'estra reinvents Thelonious Monk for the 21st Century » — LA Weekly
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.”
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.