Masters of Piano Series:
MONK’estra Big Band, John Beasley Conductor/Arranger

MONK’estra is a 16-piece BIG modern jazz BAND. John 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, hip hop, big band instrumentation, stunningly atmospheric ensemble textures, powerfully driven by a propulsive rhythm section.

MONK’estra musicians
SAX: Bob Sheppard, Jeff Driskill, Justo Almario, Tom Luer, Tommy Peterson
TRUMPET: Bijon Watson, Jamie Hovorka, Brian Swartz, Gabe Johnson
TROMBONE: Francisco Torres, Wendell Kelly, Andy Martin, Steve Hughes
BASS: Rickey Minor
DRUMS: Ronald Bruner Jr.
KEYBOARDS: John Beasley

Concert Reviews of MONK’estra:
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,

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