April 12, 2022

MONK’estra is a trilogy of albums that allowed me to shapeshift Thelonious Monk’s music with what I have absorbed in music through osmosis in my head, heart, and hand…a tumbao rhythm, a shout chorus, a bebop melody or a hip-hop groove. 

    MONK’estra Vol 1     MONK’estra Vol 2     John Beasley plays MONK’estra
                      3 albums —> 6 GRAMMY nominations —> 1 GRAMMY

Check out MONK’estra in all shapes always shifting to honor Monk’s wise words “The piano ain’t got no wrong notes.” We are a bunch of swashbucklers. 

MONK’estra on Stage
16-piece Big Band
–> Irvine Barclay Theatre, CA
–> Liemert Park Jazz Festival, LA 

Chucho Valdés La Creación w MONK’estra
–> Hollywood Bowl
–> Paramount Theatre, Oakland
–> Monterey Jazz Festival

Professional Orchestra
–> Latvian Radio Big Band, Riga

MONK’estra Septet
–> Dizzy’s Lincoln Center, New York

School bands
–> Cal Poly, Los Angeles
–> University of Northern Iowa
–> University of Music & Arts Graz Austria


jazz while driving jazz in 10,000 daily steps jazz in bed jazz listening w friends again 
Back on SirriusXM Real Jazz ~ April 30 International Jazz Day
Music & Interviews 
Live streaming

List of performers to be announced. 

Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz for UNESCO
John Beasley, Music Director


North America + Asia: Myles Weinstein – Myles Unlimited

Europe + beyond: Katherine McVicker – Music Works International 

College: Del Lyren – DGL Artists

Amazon    All Retailers
Steinway Artist

Listen:  “Return to Forever” Chick Corea reimagined

HR Big Band w John Beasley conductor / arranger / piano / keyboards

Happy Continuation Day Herbie Hancock
I first heard you on Miles Davis record “Seven Steps to Heaven”.
Your creativity, soul, and technique this 11-year old.
Then, “Maiden Voyage” was life-changing. 
🙏🏽❤️ for being such a great human being.

Thank you for reading and hopefully
we will see you somewhere around the world surrounded by music.
Stay steady, sane, and safe, please.

January 26, 2022

ready to launch 2022, i think!


MSM Jazz Orchestra: Adventures in Duke, Monk, and Bird

John Beasley conductor/arranger

Feb 03  MSM stage – Neidhoff-Karpati Hall – 7:30p
Feb 07  Dizzy’s Club – Jazz at the Lincoln Center – 7:30p + 9:30p 

MSM, Ingrid Jensen, Director of Jazz Arts Department


New York – Feb 11+12
Jazz at Lincoln Center

International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers 

Listen in on a chit-chat video blog 
on the making of the “Bird Lives” album  

Two arrangers
                 play volley ball with Charlie Parker songs 
                       sending back and forth over the internet
                              parts of a song for the other to add their touch 
                                   before returning it for another round.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
Scrapple From the Apple + Ah Leu Cha get mashed up.
Bird with Strings get morphed à la Candide overture with15 Bird songs.
Sibelius headaches and anxiety about how far to take Charlie Parker’s music.

MONK’estra is baaaack!

February 25 – Elmhurst University Jazz Festival
April 12 – Cal Poly Big Band – conducting MONK’estra charts
May 15 – Oasis Jazz Festival with Alicia Olatuja
June 9 – Irvine Barclay Theatre
August 27 – Leimert Park Jazz Festival 
Mini-concert series “Beas in the Backyard” playing MONK’estra for trio
Terreon Gully (drums) Benjamin Shepherd (bass) John Beasley (Fender Rhodes)

All About Jazz  ~ new review
Jack Bowers MONK’estra Plays John Beasley album

The band is splendid on the sensuous Song for Dub and the closing
Come Sunday, as is the septet on Implication and “Masekela. 

Beasley’s arrangements capture the tenor and temperament of the maestro,
and the MONK’estra work hard to give them life and purpose.

-Mack Avenue Records-

New Album:  “Bird Lives” SWR Big Band + Strings – ACT Music  
Guest Artists: Chris Potter  Joe Lovano Miguel Zenon Tia Fuller Charles McPherson + Pedrito Martinez Munyungo Jackson Camille Bertault

Mar 31-Apr 01  Chick Corea “Return to Forever” John Beasley arr/conductor
                           Frankfurt’s HR Big Band, Germany
Apr 03               SWR’s 75th Anniversary Concert, Stuttgart, Germany
May 09-14        Maria Mendes/John Beasley conducting Metrople Orch, Netherlands
May 02-05       U of Music, Graz, Artist in Residence/Concerts, Austria
May 28              Maria Mendes/John Beasley conducting Latvian Radio Band
Jun 16-18          Bird Lives w SWR Big Band and strings, Germany
Jun 19-22         Music of Wayne Shorter – Bielefeld Orchestra, Germany
Jul 4-25            El Trio does Italy: El Negro, Carlitos Del Puerto, John Beasley
Jul 27                Celebrating Peggy Lee + Frank Sinatra: Christian McBride,
                           Billie Elish, Dianne Reeves, Count Basie Orch ~ Hollywood Bowl, LA

Fall/Winter North America + European Tour:
Chucho Valdes ft John Beasley + MONK’estra Big Band

October 07, 2021

MONK’estra Big Band
“Bird Lives” w SWR Big Band
Chucho Valdes “Creation” Big Band

MONK’estra marks Monk’s 104th Birthday

Meet us *outdoors + in the flesh*
Second Home Hollywood presented by Sam First Jazz

Tickets: all ages *free Grammy nominated album per order
Friday, October 8 – 7:30p + 9p sets
Saturday October 9 – 7:30p + 9p sets 

MONK’estra Big Band
Trumpets:      Ryan Deweese, Christopher Gray, Mike Cottone/Brian Swartz, Ethan Chilton
Trombones:   Wendell Kelly, Ido Meshulam, Francisco Torres/Ryan Dragon
Woodwinds:   Bob Sheppard, Tom Luer, Tommy Peterson, Keith Fiddmont, David Moyer
Bass:              Edwin Livingston
Drums:           Terreon Gully
Conductor/arranger/composer/keyboards – John Beasley

STREAMING – Listen from anywhere around the world  Friday  /  Saturday

Make this “Date Night”
Michelin star 3-course dinner by newly awarded Phenakite
Book online

Al Schmitt is the gold standard for music engineering.
Making of “MONK’estra Plays John Beasley” for Mix with the Masters
at Capitol Records.

John Beasley’s MONK’estra trilogy earned 6 GRAMMY nominations and one win.
Albums: Mack Avenue Records 

Sirrus XM “Real Jazz” Channel 67
Guest DJ John Beasley
spinning Monk, more Monk, forever Monk all weekend
AIRS: Thursday, October 7 – noon-3pm PT / 3-6pm ET
Thursday, Oct 7:     midnight to 3am PT   /   9p to midnight ET
Friday, Oct 8:          6 to 9am PT.  /   3 to 6am ET
Saturday, Oct 9:      5 to 8pm PT   /   2 to 5pm ET 
Sunday, Oct 10:      10a to 1pm PT.  /   7 to 10am ET

Chucho Valdés “The Creation” 
New work to mark Chucho’s 80th birthday

La Creación is a suite in 4 movements exploring the story of ‘creation’ according to the Afro-Cuban religion Santería; and is a summation of Chuco’s extraordinary career.

Co-arrangers/conductors John Beasley + Hilario Duran
Nov 5:       Miami ~ Arsht Performing Arts Center *world premiere
Nov 17:     Lyon ~ Auditorium National
Nov 20:     Paris ~ Philharmonie
Nov 23:     Barcelona ~ Palau de la Musica

US tour:  Kennedy Ctr, Lincoln Ctr, Hollywood Bowl, SF Davies Hall, Berkeley Perf Ctr…

Chucho Valdés ~ Composer, Piano, Director
John Beasley + Hilario Durán ~ Co-Arranger/conductors/MD, Keyboards, 
Dafnis Prieto ~ drums
Etienne Charles, Brian Lynch, Marcus Strickland, Carlos Fernández ~ brass
José A. Gola ~ bass 
Roberto Jr. Vizcaíno ~ percussions
Erick Barbería, Yosvany Gonzalez Franco, Felipe Sarria Linares ~ batá & vocal
Yeny Valdés ~ vocals

“Bird Lives” – new album November 12

Thank you Nate Chinen WGBO Fall Preview article for hand picking John’s new project with

SWR Big Band + strings + Magnus Lindgren (co-arranger/conductor/producer)

           “This top-flight German ensemble originally set about making the music on Bird Lives for a Charlie Parker centennial concert last year. A pandemic delay thwarted that plan, but also gave a pair of co-arrangers — Swedish saxophonist Magnus Lindgren and American pianist John Beasley — more time to steep their ambitions. The result is a sweeping tribute peppered with notable guests on sax:

Charles Mcpherson  |  Chris Potter  |  Joe Lovano   |  Miguel Zenon  | Tia Fuller  
Pedrito Martinez + Munyungo Jackson ~percussions  | Camille Bertault ~vocals

World Premiere Tour in Sweden + Germany:
Nov 9:      Stuttgart ~  Phönixhalle I’m Römerkastell 
Nov 10:    Karlsruhe ~  Tollhaus
Nov 12:    Stockholm ~ Konserthuset
Nov 15:    Bielefeld ~ Rudolf-Oetker-Halle
*2022 tour in the making.

July 11, 2021

U-Turn back to live, in-person gigging!
I’m waxed, vaxxed, and relaxed!

Excavating to discover buried remains that can reveal new musical possibilities.

John Beasley Circle
Friday, July 16

Ben Williams, John Davis, Dave Binney

Saturday July 17
Edwin Livingston, John Davis, Dave Binney

Sam First Jazz, near LAX
2 sets: 7pm & 9pm

24 seats ONLY ~ $25 each set
Tip Jar – to watch online


Charles McPherson Quintet
Gilbert Castellanos  |  John Beasley  |  Rob Thorsen  |  Tyler Kreutel

Queen Bee’s
Saturday, July 24
7-10 pm
$35 tickets left (VIP tickets sold out!)
*honor a legend*

Kurt Elling with 
John Beasley’s MONK’estra Trio 
Terreon Gully
Joshua Crumbly
John Beasley

Catalina Jazz Bar, Hollywood
Friday, July 30:  8:30pm ~ $50
Saturday, July 31: 8:30pm ~ $50 + 10:30pm ~ $45
Sunday, August 01: 7:30pm ~ $45

Spinning jazz from Armstrong to Zenon
Tuesdays in July
9a-noon ET / 6-9a PT    |   repeats: 6-9p ET / 3-6p PT
SiriusXM Real Jazz, Ch 67 

Vote for John if you think he deserves your high five.
Album of the Year “MONK’estra Plays John Beasley”

Eligiblity: Must be a subscriber or sign up for Downbeat’s Newsletter (free)

Myles Weinstein, Unlimited Myles – (North America + select Global
Katherine McVicker, Music Works International, select Europe + Global)
Education: Del Lyren, DGL Artists

John Beasley – More Calendar Events
Dianne Reeves, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Delaware
7    Tres Sabores Winery, MONK’estra Septet video screening, snacks & wine
20  WeHo Sounds Online, MONK’estra 4tet stream – free

Charlie Parker’s “Bird Lives” – Stuttgart’s SWR Big Band + strings
Co-conductors/arrangers: John Beasley + Magnus Lindgren
Album Release ACT Music – Fall 2021
Tour: Germany & Sweden November 2021

Chucho Valdés “The Creation” Suite
Co-arrangers/conductors John Beasley (MD) + Hilario Duran
November 2021: Miami, Lyon, Paris, Barcelona

Mack Avenue Records  |  Steinway & Sons Artist

MONK’estra 3 albums:  support musicians: buy music

June 7, 2021

Music for Mental Health:
Tuesdays                SiriusXM ‘Real Jazz’
25                           Bosch Season 7 Final Season premiere Amazon
30                           Vancouver International Jazz Festival
Tuesdays               SiriusXM ‘Real Jazz
16+17                      Sam First Jazz
29, 30 + 31             Kurt Elling Catalina Jazz Club

Spinning jazz from Armstrong to Zenon
Tuesdays in June & July  
9a-noon ET / 6-9a PT    |   repeats: 6-9p ET / 3-6p PT
SiriusXM Real Jazz, Ch 67 

John Beasley Septet
Vancouver International Jazz Festival Online

Premiere: June 30,10:30pm PT
On Demand: until July 06
  Tickets: $11

Musicians: Terreon Gully, Ben Williams, Rashawn Ross,
Bob Sheppard, Tom Luer + John Beasley

tune in from anywhere this summer night

BOSCH – Season 7
*premiere episode ~ final season*
John Beasley Quintet featured in club scene

June 25 + on demand

Bosch is based on Michael Connely’s best-selling crime novels. Tenacious LAPD homicide detective, Harry Bosch is a relentless cop who personalizes his cases and stops at nothing to bring justice to the victims of murder. His code is: 
“Everybody counts or nobody count.”

John Beasley Quintet

Terreon Gully (drums) Eric Revis (bass) Brian Swartz (trumpet) Teodross Avery (sax)

John Beasley piano/bandleader

Song: Caddo Bayou from Positootly! album Resonance Records

Sam First Jazz Bar
Beas is Back Live
Friday, July 16 + Saturday, July 17
2 sets: 7pm + 9pm
Limited in person seating
Live stream

Kurt Elling
Catalina Jazz Club
July 29, 30 + 31
 Secrets are the Best Stories
Grammy winning Best Jazz Vocal Album

Throwback –June 14, 2016– Letter from First Lady Michelle Obama
“Jazz at the White House” gala concert to mark International Jazz Day

Myles Unlimited, Unlimited Myles (North America + select Global)

Katherine McVicker, Music Works International  select Europe + Global)

Education:  DGL Artists


John Beasley – Fall Calendar
Charlie Parker’s “Bird Lives” – Stuttgart’s SWR Big Band + strings
Co-conductors/arrangers: John Beasley + Magnus Lindgren
November 2021: German and Swedish tours
*look out for album release on ACT Music – Fall 2021

Chucho Valdés “The Creation” Suite
Co-arrangers/conductors John Beasley (MD) + Hilario Duran
November 2021: Miami, Lyon, Paris, Barcelona


Mack Avenue Records  |  Steinway & Sons Artist

MONK’estra albums:  support musicians – buy music

update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

April 29, 2021

2021 All-Star Global Concert 
Herbie Hancock – Artistic Director  |   John Beasley – Music Director

filmed with musicians in Los Angeles:
Andra Day   Marcus Miller  Dianne Reeves
Dee Dee Bridgewater   Gerald Clayton  Ben Williams   Justin Tyson
Alex Acuña (Peru)     Francisco Torres (Mexico)    Justo Almario (Colombia)
Jonathan Butler (South Africa)  Mahmoud Chouki (Morocco)
Romero Lubambo (Brazil)

musicians in New York:
Melissa Aldana (Chile)   A Bu (China)   Ingrid Jensen (Canada)
Amina Figarova (Azerbaijan)  Massimo Biolcati + Roberta Gambarini (Italy)
Rudresh Mahanthappa (India)   Antonio Sánchez (Mexico)
Veronica Swift   Joe Lovano   Cyrus Chestnut
Kenny Garrett    James Genus   Stefon Harris

musicians in home countries:
Igor Butman (Russia)     Jacob Collier (United Kingdom)
Mandisi Dyantyis (South Africa)    Ivan Lins (Brazil)
John McLaughlin in Monaco    James Morrison (Australia)
Junko Onishi (Japan)

Special performance ~ Angélique Kidjo (Benin)

Live webcast via YouTube, Facebook,,
UN Web TV, UNESCO, US State Department outlets

2p Los Angeles / 5p New York / 11p Paris

International Jazz Day Preview Show
SiriusXM “Real Jazz”
with John Beasley
~Spinning 3 hours of music + interviews~

Dee Dee Bridgewater    Stefon Harris    Joe Lovano  
Kenny Garrett    Marcus Miller    Antonio Sanchez  
Roberta Gambarini    Gerald Clayton    Ingrid Jensen  
Lee Ritenour       Hubert Laws

Friday, April 30
12:15p ET / 9:15 am PT 
show repeats: 9pm ET / midnight ET

Two hour TV Special

Look back at 10 years of concerts featuring collaborations
between artists representing 30+ nations
from Istanbul, Osaka, Paris, the White House, Havana,
St. Petersburg, New Orleans and Melbourne.

Legendary artists: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stevie Wonder,
Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Chaka Khan, Annie Lennox,
Sting, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, +++

Hosts: Morgan Freeman, Will Smith + Helen Mirren

A tribute to the treasured values and unifying heritage of jazz.

Tune in or stream
PBS TV (check local PBS listings)
6-8p PT  / 9-11p ET / 8-10p CT

Herbie Hancock – Artistic Director    |   John Beasley – Music Director

Catch these shows before they expire
~Conversation between Dianne Reeves + John Beasley – NJPAC + Jazz Standard
~KJazz Virtual Video Concert: MONK’estra Septet – expires midnight May 2nd

Upcoming concerts

“Jazz injects heart and soul into our blood, strengthens and
ignites fireworks in our brain.”

John Beasley Bookings:

Myles Unlimited, Unlimited Myles (North America + select Global)

Katherine McVicker, Music Works International
 (select Europe + Global)

Education:  Artist Access  |  DGL Artists

Mack Avenue Records Artist  |  Steinway & Sons Artist

April 12, 2021

New Jersey Performing Arts Center + Jazz Standard
Artist 2 Artist Discussion with

Dianne Reeves & John Beasley

Eavesdrop on two friends:
meeting @ the Comeback Inn… Sergio Mendes… Old Souls… 
George Duke… International Jazz Day… Strange Fruit… MONK’estra…
post-pandemic horizon.

Tuesday, April 13        –        7-8pm ET  |  4-5pm PT

…This is us, in 2021…

Healthcare for Justice Fundraiser
Streaming Concert

$25 supports medical care to victims and survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence by streaming this concert.

Purchase tickets here and you will be sent a private link to YouTube.

Please SHARE widely to support this cause.


We miss playing in person, but here’s a video concert premiering this Sunday

KJAZZ “Stay at Home” Virtual Concert

MONK’estra Septet
John Beasley  |  Terreon Gully  | Ben Williams
Rashawn Ross   |  Bob Sheppard  |  Tom Luer  | Francisco Torres

…playing original songs …

Sunday, April 18
8 to 9pm PST   /  11 to midnight EST

If you miss the premiere, listen anytime from April 18 to April 30.   /

MONK’estra Plays John Beasley 

APRIL 20, 2021

“Jazz injects heart and soul into our blood, strengthens and ignites fireworks in our brain.”

As UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador, Herbie Hancock championed a day to mark America’s one true original art form, jazz. 

Ten years ago, UNESCO marked “April 30” as “International Jazz Day” to bring together countries and communities worldwide to celebrate jazz and highlight the music’s important role in encouraging dialogue, combating discrimination and promoting human dignity.

Jazz Day has become a global movement reaching more than two billion people annually on all seven continents, including Antarctica, through education programs, performances, community outreach, radio, television and streaming, along with electronic, print and social media.

The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz is UNESCO’s official partner in the organization and promotion of International Jazz Day.

2021 Jazz Day will be virtual online or in the U.S. on PBS TV
International Jazz Day – for broadcast times

~Pre-Show: Special 10th Anniversary video~
Highlights from Paris, Istanbul, Osaka, White House – Washington DC,
Havana, St Petersburg & Melbourne.

John Beasley, Music Director
List of artists performing will be released soon.

Special International Jazz Day Radio Show
SiriusXM “Real Jazz” Ch 67
April 30
Time: 3-6pm ET, repeats midnight-3am ET
Spotlight on global artists

Vaccinated and
ready to gig again.

Can’t wait to see you

Get your shot so you are less likely to get sick, go to hospital, or die… and less likely to spread the virus.

Protects Me, Protects You 

March 12, 2021

SIRIUSXM REAL JAZZ satellite radio

Guest DJ: John Beasley

Playing music from each GRAMMY jazz nominee’s albums

Sunday, March 14
noon PT / 3pm ET
streamed live internationally

Opening performance:
50th anniversary of Marvin Gaye “Mercy, Mercy Me”

Nominee Artists performing:
Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Thana Alexa, John Beasley,
Camilo, Regina Carter, Alexandre Desplat, Bebel Gilberto,
Ledisi, Gregory Porter,  säje, Anoushka Shankar, Kamasi Washington, and more.

International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers
Uncharted Territory  –  Conversations with Arrangers & Singers

Friday, March 19
7p ET:     John Beasley & Maria Mendes
*moderator: John Clayton
8:15p:     John Hollenbeck/Kate McGarry & Theo Bleckmann
*moderator: JC Sanford
9:30p:     Darcy James Argue & Cécile McLorin Salvant
*moderator: Terri Lyne Carrington
John & Maria: Crossing Continents: A Fado-Jazz Meet-up
It was a blind date. Portuguese singer Maria Mendes called John Beasley to reimagine classic Fado songs of longing and melancholy for modern listeners. John flew to Amsterdam and met in the basement of the famed Bimhuis jazz club to hear the vision and music, then went away to write the arrangements. The second encounter was set in a small farmhouse to record the tracks. For their third date, they met at a recording studio to work with 30 musicians from the Metropole Orkest.
These cross-continental encounters brought the couple a 2020 Latin Grammy nomination, a 2021 Grammy nomination, and the Dutch Edison prize for “Best Jazz Vocal album.”

Compare original songs –> modern arrangements

Recent Media Features
LA Times   |   JazzTimes   |   All About Jazz   |  Jazz Fun (German)
Podcasts:     33Third   |  Music Biz Weekly 
Film:   Variety   |  Gold Derby

Call for Scores
Global Jazz Composition Competition
Prizes: €5K/3K/2K
Performed by Radio Symphony Vienna conductor: Marin Alsop

moon-shot dream writing my first symphonic jazz score “Simplexity”

Be the next winner!

Upcoming: check website for updates

International Jazz Day 2021 – April 30

Charlie Parker’s “Bird” album with Stuttgart’s SWR Radio Big Band & strings
Co-conductor/arrangers John Beasley & Magnus Lindgren
Guest artists:
Joe Lovano, Charles McPherson, Tia Fuller,
Chris Potter, Miguel Zenon, Camille & Pedrito Martinez
(Fall 2021)

Mack Avenue Records
Steinway & Sons Artist

Katherine McVicker, Music Works International
(select Europe + Global)

Myles Unlimited, Unlimited Myles (USA+Canada)

Education:  Artist Access  |  DGL Artists