For the 2018 Purdue Jazz Fest, it is an honor to celebrate jazz legend Thelonius Monk’s centennial birthday and his undying influence on the form by welcoming John Beasley’s MONK’estra. This group brings jazz full circle, translating Monk’s work into the large ensemble format with fresh, buoyant arrangements.
Spectacular!… Ultra-hip, ultra-cool, ultra-swinging.”

** Sean Jones, joining the band with Kendrick Scott on drums and Ed Neumeister on trombone.

BAND: Conductor/Arranger/Pianist: John Beasley

Trumpets:  Bijon Watson, Brian Lynch, Scott Wendholt, Sean Jones

Trombones:  Eric Miller, James Burton, Ed Neumeister

Woodwinds:  Erena Terakuba, Oliver Santana, Tom Luer, Greg Tardy, Dave Riekenberg

Bass:  Ben Shepherd

Drums:  Kendrick Scott


Jan 17

Tune in at 12pm to WICR-FM with host Doug Housemeyer

Jan 19, Friday

7-7:45p                        Pre-show: Don Seybold WBAA’s Inside Jazz w John Beasley

7:30p                           Doors open

8-9:30p                        Concert (90 mins)


Videos: Vol 1: 



Round Midnight                                    

Brake’s Sake @ Ronnie Scotts            

PLAYLIST (Spotify) 15 Monk/MONKestra


“Beasley hits us dead center with studio-smart takes on Monk’s deep book… features rapid-fire surprises, spiky asides and a quirky sense of truthful swing. Beasley’s band will leave you rapt. He brings Monk to life once again for modern-minded listeners. Downbeat – 4.5/5 stars

‘’John Beasley’s bold refashionings of Thelonious Monk once again hit the jackpot. Beasley’s not just breathing new life into Monk’s repertoire – he’s firing up the big band scene.” BBC Music Magazine

“Beasley is a very clever arranger who works his charts hard, and this album is continuously surprising… an ingenious interpreter of Monk conducts like Thad Jones. ” JazzTimes

“MONK’estra brought the project thrillingly to life with their razor-sharp ensemble work and rhythmic authenticity… hip-hop merges with swing and sensuous Ellingtonia sits on a sparse contemporary pulse. Financial Times – 4

Beasley’s Monk’estra set was a dazzling display of fresh interpretations scaled to take full advantage of his sixteen-piece ensemble. The enlightening set closed with vigorous applause from the house.” –AllAboutJazz

“Beasley takes Monk’s sturdy tunes on a joyride for MONK’estra.” New Yorker
“John Beasley, the one-time keyboardist for Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, whose playing reflects a variety of generational influences, incorporating the emphatic chordal clusters of Herbie Hancock, the rhythmic quirkiness of Monk and the lush intelligence of Art Tatum into a highly refined personal voice.” Los Angeles Times