MONK + MONK’estra: A Cinematic Concert Experience – CANCELLED Covid19

Coming on the heels of a world premiere at Walt Disney Hall, MONK + MONK’estra is a cinematic experience that draws on rare performance footage to bring the idiosyncratic genius of the pianist, composer and cultural icon to life on a screen above the band. Under the masterful direction of Grammy-nominated pianist, arranger and composer John Beasley, the 15-piece MONK’estra captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular music in fresh arrangements flavored with contemporary sounds that range from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop.

Monk + MONK’estra is a cinematic/concert experience that marries a narrative about the genius and wit of Monk with rare film footage accompanied by John Beasley’s big band MONK’estra.
Monk was once mocked and misunderstood, but is now celebrated worldwide, becoming the second most-recordedcomposer after Duke Ellington.

John Beasley will conduct his 15-piece big band MONK’estra accompanying one of Monk’s legendary trios (on film) and in other scenes Monk accompanying MONK’estra. The narrative includes spoken word performances and footage of two films by Michael and Christian Blackwood “Monk” and “Monk in Europe”.

Beasley reinvents Thelonious Monk for the 21st Centuryplacing them in a cosmopolitan soundscape with touches of neo-soul, New Orleans, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop, contemporary and atmospheric beats.



May 09 2020


8:00 am - 6:00 pm

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Mondavi Center, UC Davis
Davis, California