24th annual Symphony Center Jazz Series presents
MONK’estra featuring GRÉGOIRE MARET

Opening Act: Melissa Aldana

BAND:  Conductor/Arranger/Pianist: John Beasley

Trumpets:  Bijon Watson, Brian Lynch, Scott Wendholt, James Ford

Trombones:  Eric Miller, James Burton, Frank Lacy

Woodwinds:  Erena Terakuba, Oliver Santana, Tom Luer, Adam Schroeder, Dave Riekenberg

Bass:  Ben Sheppard

Drums:Terreon Gully


The pioneering music of jazz legend Thelonious Monk receives a rip-roaring big-band treatment from John Beasley’s MONK’estra, “some of the most mesmerizing big band music—individually and collectively—of recent memory” (Don Heckman International Review of Music).

The concert opens with Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana, the first female instrumentalist to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition, who brings her trio for a Symphony Center debut.

Vol 2: http://bit.ly/MONKestraV2 Vol 1: http://bit.ly/monkestraV1

Evidence                                                         http://bit.ly/monkestraevidence

Round Midnight                                              http://bit.ly/monkestraroundmidnight

Brake’s Sake @ Ronnie Scotts                      http://bit.ly/BrakesSake_RonnieScotts

PLAYLIST (Spotify) 15 Monk/MONKestra       http://bit.ly/spotify_playlist_monk_monkestra

John Beasley gets his best ideas using two tools: his iPhone and a pair of walking shoes. Both were essential while composing his Grammy-nominated album “MONK’estra, Vol. 2,” a second volume of new works that reimagine Thelonious Monk melodies within a big band setting. On breaks, the pianist would take long walks. Suddenly, a song’s complete architecture would materialize, and he would sing it into his phone to transcribe later: “Monk’s music is very pliable as well as audacious and playful.”

“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