A four-time GRAMMY-nominated 15-piece big band led by multi-GRAMMY®- and Emmy-nominated recording artist John Beasley, which has performed at nearly 60 cities around the world so far. 

Ensembles

MONK’estra Big Band

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MONK’estra Septet

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Monk+MONK’estra, Cinematic Concert

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Music Videos

Evidence

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Round Midnight

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‘’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 takes Monk’s sturdy tunes on a joyride for MONK’estra.”

New Yorker

“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

The feel and sound of MONK’estra captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular style with its off-beat melodies, humor, strange beauty and unbounded swing in fresh arrangements flavored with hints of New Orleans, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban, contemporary and atmospheric rhythms and colors.

Some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.”

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GLOBAL CONCERT TOURS:

Upcoming: Mondavi/UC Davis (CA), African Skye festival (Cape Town), Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society (CA), NYUAD (Abu Dhabi + Dubai), Hanifl Performing Center (Minnesota)

Past Venues and Festivals:

New York: Jazz Standard (2016, 2017), Dizzy’s/Lincoln Center (2018), Birdland (2019), Festival: Kingsborough (NY)

Los Angeles: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Broad Center, SOKA, Blue Whale, Vitello’s, Jazz Bakery: Musicians Institute + New Roads, California Jazz Society, LACMA Summer Series, and Festivals: Playboy Hollywood Bowl, Angel City + Central Avenue

Other US Cities: SFJazz (2013, 2015, 2017 – San Francisco), San Diego Symphony Summer Series, Chicago Symphony Halls, Smith Center (Las Vegas), Carmel Music Ctr + Purdue University (Indiana), Jefferson Center (Roanoke), and Festivals: Monterey, Detroit, Portland

Europe:  Ronnie Scotts (London 2017+2018), and Festivals: North Sea (Rotterdam), Berlin, TM Festival (Romania) Siexal (Lisbon)

Asia/New Zealand:  Blue Note (Tokyo + Beijing), Cotton Club (Tokyo), Festivals: Java Jazz Festival, Pyeong Chang (Seoul), Melbourne Jazz Festival

Conducting big bands:

Moscow Big Band (Triumph Jazz Festival: Moscow/St Petersburg); HR Big Band (Frankfurt, Konservatorium), Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Bozar, de Singel, Jazz in ‘t Park (Belgium), Stockholm’s Blue House Big Band, Knoxville Jazz Orchestra

Big Band Accompaniment:

*Tribute to Quincy Jones, Monk Institute Gala (Kodak)

*Tribute to Kenny Burrell featuring Lee Ritenour, Kamasi Washington, Gretchen Parlato (Ford Theatres)

*Palm Springs Festival with Rene Marie and Tierney Sutton (Annenberg)

Schools/Youth concerts:

New York: Julliard, Rutgers, Manhattan School of Music

Florida: U of South Florida, University of Miami, Frost School of Music

Other: U of North Texas, Cal State LA

Europe: CoDArts (Rotterdam) Conservatory, Maastricht Conservatory (Netherlands), JAM Music Lab (Vienna)

Special Feature: Jazz and the Orchestra (Walt Disney Hall, LA), Jazz Education Network Conference (San Diego), National Youth Orchestra with Sean Jones, Carnegie Hall

MACK AVENUE RECORDS:

MONK’estra plays John Beasley (May 1st, 2020 release)

MONK’estra Vol. 2: two GRAMMY nominations (2018) Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Arrangement for “Ugly Beauty/Pannomica”.

MONK’estra Vol. 1: two-GRAMMY nominations (2017) Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Best Arrangement for “Ask Me Now”.

MONK’estra re-imagines Monk’s compositions with an eye to the future with a killer contemporary big band that pays loving tribute to the master’s music while infusing it with contemporary harmonies, unstoppable grooves, and a contagious sense of fun.

BAND MEMBERS _ MONKestra

Collective of Musicians from East Coast, West Coast and Europe

TRUMPET: Bijon Watson, Brian Lynch, Brian Swartz, Dontae Winslow, Rashawn Ross, Scott Wendholt, Shawn Edmonds, Jamie Hovorka, Brandyn Phillips, Till Broner, Sean Jones

TROMBONE: Frank Lacy, Conrad Herwig, Steve Turre, Ryan Dragon, Lemar Guillary, Francisco Torres, Wendell Kelly, Steve Hughes, James Burton, Ed Neumeister

WOODWINDS: Bob Sheppard, Greg Tardy, Tom Luer, Tommy Peterson, Dave Reikenberg, Adam Kolker, Oliver Santana, Steve Wilson, Danny Janklow, Erena Terakubo, Magnus Lindgren, Joris Roelofs

BASS: Benjamin J. Shepherd, Ben Williams, James Genus, Rickey Minor, Reggie Hamilton, Felipe Cabrera

DRUMS: Terreon Gully, Peter Erskine, Gene Coye, Kendrick Scott, Gary Novak, Tony Austin,

GUEST ARTISTS: Dianne Reeves, Gary Burton, Regina Carter, Gregoire Maret, Kamasi Washington, Pedrito Martinez, Conrad Herwig, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Joey DeFrancisco, Vinnie Colauita, John Patitucci, Hubert Laws

CONDUCTOR/ARRANGER/PIANO/SYNTHESIZERS/MELODICA:
John Beasley