MONK’estra plays John Beasley – CD launch
Come to my CD launch of “MONK’estra plays John Beasley”
Album Guest Artists:
Vinnie Colauita, John Patitucci, Hubert Laws, Joey DeFrancesco, Jubilant Skyes, Grégoire Maret and mixed by Al Schmidt
The album is called MONK’estra plays John Beasleyto highlight the band playing my compositions and featuring my arrangements of other composers, not just Thelonious Monk.
This album is also a very personal record because it includes people I started playing with in my ‘coming of age in music’. We were young and jamming; exploring sounds, adding individual expressions; speaking to each other on stage and in the studio. We went out into the world and decades later, we came together to share and blend what we have learned.
Vinnie Colauita, John Patitucci, John Beasley
Vinnie, Patitucci, Steve Tavaglione, and I formed a band when we were in our 20s back in the 90s, called Audio Mind. We toured Europe, especially Italy, which was home country for Vinnie, Patitucci, and “Tav’s” home country. I was nicknamed “Giovanni”. We made a dozen records together. Since then, our paths tumbled forward in so many adventurous ways. We reunited on a few songs on this album bringing and blending a lifetime of influences and many palettes, with a song dedicated to Steve.
Hubert Lawshired John Patitucci and I when we were 20 years old to play a concert of his at Carneigie Hall. What a baptism under fire. We three have been friends and collaborators on many projects ever since. And here we are, full circle.
Joey DeFrancesco– I replaced Joey as he was leaving the Miles band in 1989. We kept in touch with each other ever since. I’ve just written some big band charts for Joey and we plan future play dates together.
Jubilant Skyeswent to the same Middle School I attended. His voice teacher was one of mother’s best friends. He went on to be a distinguished opera singer, but because of his gospel background, I knew he could deliver Duke Ellington’s Come Sundaymessage in the powerful way that Duke intended and I wanted. Music has a way of helping us endure these chaotic political times and bring together communities to fight injustice, especially the continuous shooting of black people in America.
Grégoire Maretwas in the Dapp Theory Band 20 years ago when he had a full head of hair. He stopped everybody’s breath then and continues to surprise me. We’ve toured a bit and he’s been featured on International Jazz Day gala concerts which I diret. I invited him to play on Ask Me Nowon MONK’estra Vol 1, so he returns on this album.
Mack Avenue Records