Lena Semmelroggen/SWR Big Band – November 2020
Awards & Honors
Double GRAMMY winner
Latin GRAMMY nominee
Edison Award (Netherlands) Best Jazz Vocal Album (Maria Mendes – John Beasley Producer/Arranger)
John Beasley’s music career spans four+ decades with credits that reads like a “who’s who” list in the music, Film, TV and other entertainment worlds.
GRAMMY® Award Winning and Emmy nominee, John Beasley is a versatile pianist, composer, arranger who began his career in his 20s backing jazz icons Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. Since then, Beasley has performed with a wide range of artists, including Dianne Reeves, Ivan Lins, John Patitucci, Chaka Khan, Chucho Valdes, Christian McBride, Carly Simon, to name a few. He was music director for international tours with Steely Dan, A.R. Rahman and Queen Latifah (U.S.).
He is the Music Director for the Herbie Hancock Jazz Institute, host of International Jazz Day’s annual global gala concerts, which have been held in Paris, Istanbul, Osaka, Havana, St Petersburg, Melbourne the, White House (hosted by the Obamas) and other major cities.
As a recording artist Beasley has a dozen plus albums and has earned 2 GRAMMY awards and 11 nominations. His big band MONK’estra project is a trilogy of albums which received 6 nominations and one win. He also earned a Latin Grammy nomination for Maria Mendes “Close to Me” album which he also produced. Their follow up album “Colours of Me” was released in 2022 which features the Metropole Orchestra. He latest album with writing partner Magnus Lindgren “Bird Lives” with the SWR Big Band and strings earned three GRAMMY nominations and took home a GRAMMY award (2023). Beasley has a handful of new albums releasing in 2023, including his reimagination again with writing partner Magnus Lindgren of Herbie Hancock’s “Secrets’ album featuring Lionel Loueke and albums with Mike Stoler, Dwight Trible, Horacio El Negro Hernandez and a unique project with Steinway Spirio piano.
Beasley’s work as a composer-arranger extends beyond jazz, with many credits in films scored by 15-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman Elemental (upcoming release), 1917, James Bond’s Spectre and Skyfall, Finding Dory, He Named Me Malala, Shawshank Redemption, and Let them all Talk. At the young age of 24, Beasley began working for Paramount, Disney and other studios composing for television series, including Star Trek: The Next Generation, Cheers, and Fame, among others.
Beasley also worked as MD for TV specials/series, including Sports Illustrated 50 Years of Beautiful and musical competitions Duets with John Legend, and Sing Your Face Off. Beasley was Lead Arranger for ten years on the American Idol show with his first year as Associate MD ushering Carrie Underwood’s victory.
Beasley has been working with youth and professional big bands. He was commissioned by Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra to write a song Fête dans la Tête. He wrote a commission for the LA Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles called A History of Jazz. He has been working with several big band orchestras in Europe including the HR Big Band, Bohuslan Big Band, Latvian Big Band and the SWR Big Band doing arranging music by Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report and originals.