John Beasley

GRAMMY® and Emmy Award-nominated John Beasley is a far-ranging pianist, composer, and arranger who has performed with music icons from Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, Dianne Reeves and Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, Marcus Miller and Christian McBride, Chaka Khan and even a stint with James Brown. Beasley is easily one of the most versatile musicians balancing a multi-faceted career as a bandleader juggling various combos and now a big band project called MONK’estra. He is a first-call keyboardist and has played on hundreds of records and recently co-produced Weather Report’s drummer Peter Erskine and legendary guitarist Lee Ritenour recent albums.

When not on stage, Beasley works on box-office films including James Bond Spectre and Skyfall, Finding Dory and Finding Nemo, to name a few. He spent a decade composing for TV shows Cheers, Family Ties, Fame, Star Trek: Next Generation and singing-competitions, including the juggernaut American Idol since 2005.  

For the past five years, Beasley has been the Music Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute directing UNESCO’s International Jazz Day global concerts.  This year, gala was held at the White House and televised on ABC TV, which earned Beasley an Emmy nomination. Beasley also directs the Monk’s Institute’s annual competition gala producing tributes to Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, and Bill Clinton. 

This August, Mack Avenue Records will release Beasley’s new album MONK’estra, Volume 1 which is described as “Some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory” by International Review of Music.  Beasley’s 15-piece big band captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular music: the off-beat melodies and humor, strange beauty and unbounded swing in fresh arrangements flavored with New Orleans spirit, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban rhythms and atmospheric colors. 

2017 marks Thelonious Monk’s Centennial Year.  Beasley will be touring with his big band or guest conducting major European Jazz orchestras to celebrate Monk and his music.

As education is the key to paying jazz forward, Beasley conducts clinics worldwide and is a Guest Lecturer at the Codarts Rotterdam Conservatory.  He champions musicians rights and royalties as a (former) Governor on the Board of GRAMMY®.


Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.