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Workshop with John Beasley: Re-imagining Thelonious Monk’s Compositions

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Seilerstätte 8
1010 Wien

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Admission: Free


Re-imagining Thelonious Monk’s Compositions on his Centennial

Watch John Beasley's introduction video

Recent news: John Beasley’s MONK’estra Vol. 2 just got 2 GRAMMY nominations.

John Beasley - Grammy nomination


Monday, December 11th, 2017, 17.00 - 19.00, Spielraum

Wikipedia claims that Monk is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington. He wrote 70 compositions while Ellington wrote over 1000 pieces. What is it about Monk’s music –some of the most original and challenging music of the 20th century– makes it so recognizable and reproducible?

Beasley will speak about the DNA of Monk’s music and his quest to understand the heart of Monk's compositions. He will touch on his mastery of one note, timing, silence and how he played with musicians –whether in a trio, quartet, setet, septet, or big band–  so they can move the music forward and rise to the occasion.


Tuesday, December 12th, 2017, 14.00 - 18.00, MDW, Seilerstätte 8, 1010 Wien

nation of several Monk’s songs on Mack Avenue Records. One of the key takeaways from this workshop is to encourage students to honor what Monk advocated “play it your own way’ and “use notes differently”. 

About John Beasley

“Beasley, the one-time keyboardist for Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, reflects a variety of generational influences, incorporating the emphatic chordal clusters of Herbie Hancock, the rhythmic quirkiness of Monk and the lush intelligence of Art Tatum into a highly refined personal voice.” –Los Angeles Times

GRAMMY®-nominated recording artist and Emmy-nominated Music Director John Beasley’s music career spans three decades with credits that reads like a “who’s who” list in the music, Film, TV and other entertainment worlds.



Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Carly Simon, Christian McBride, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Stanley Clarke, Lee Ritenour, Kenny Garrett, AR Rahman, Baaba Mal, Jon Hassell, Ivan Lins, Sergio Mendes, Yosvany Terry, Ruthie Foster, Dave Gruisin, even a stint with James Brown, to name a few.


  • MONK’estra, Vol 2 John Beasley conductor/arranger - Mack Avenue Records (September 01, 2017)
  • MONK’estra, Vol 1 John Beasley conductor/arranger - Mack Avenue Records (2016) double-Grammy nominated
  • 3 Brave Souls John Beasley, Ndugu Chancler, Darryl Jones - BFM Jazz
  • Positootly! Jeff Watts, Bennie Maupin, James Genus - Resonance Records Grammy nominated
  • Letter to Herbie Jeff Watts, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride - Resonance Records
  • One LIVE Night Gary Novak, Dave Carpenter, Carlos Del Puerto – BFM Jazz
  • Nuances solo piano - EWE Japan
  • Surfacing Vinnie Colaiuta, Robert Hurst - EWE Japan, BFM Jazz
  • Cauldron John Patitucci, Bill Summers, Rickey Minor, Peter Erskine - Windham Hill
  • A Change of Heart John Patitucci, Terri Lynn Carrington, Freddie Washington - Windham Hill
  • 10/10:The Music of Thelonious Monk John Beasley and Steve Cardenas,TDK Japan
  • Commotion 2: Sampler of Windham Hill Jazz – Windham Hill
  • Mose the Fireman (book on tape, narrator Michael Keaton, music by John Beasley and Walter Becker)

Brussels Jazz Orchestra, Blue House Orchestra (Sweden), Russian Jazz Orchestra, upcoming: HR Big Band (Frankfurt), Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, Julliard + Rutgers’ university orchestra playing the music of MONK’estra


  • International Jazz Day galas: Havana (2017), White House (DC) 2016, Paris 2015+2012, Osaka 2014, Istanbul 2013
  • Dianne Reeves Many Rivers Civil Rights concert 2016
  • Thelonious Monk Institute Tribute galas: Quincy Jones 2015, Bill Clinton 2014, George Duke 2013, 25th Anniversary Gala Tribute to Aretha Franklin
  • 2012Tribute to George Duke, MD and co-producer with Darlene Chan/Festival West at Playboy Jazz Festival and Capitol Jazz FestivalJazz and Los Angeles
  • Philharmonic Orchestra, Disney Hall: Youth Concert series: Host/MD/Bandleader 2011 + 2014
  • Steely Dan Art Crimes world tour
  • Queen Latifah’s Travelin’ Lite 40-city US Tour
  • AR Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire composer) Jai Ho world tour
  • Carly Simon Aboard the Queen Mary PBS TV piano and conductor


Second Opinion Peter Erskine and John Beasley (co-producers), Bob Sheppard, Ben Sheppard (2017)

Dr.Um + Lost Pages Peter Erskine and John Beasley (co-producers) Janek Gwizdala, Bob Sheppard, Larry Koonse, Aaron Serfaty, Jack Fletcher –Fuzzy Music (2016) Grammy nominated

A Twist of Rit Lee Ritenour and John Beasley (co-producers) – Concord Records

EWE Records: Chie Ayado:Time, Shine, Life, Yosvany Terry Metamorphis,Yota Miyazato Colors


  • Films: James Bond: Spectre + Skyfall, Finding Dory + Finding Nemo, Get on Up (James Brown), Exotic Marigold Hotel I + II, He called me Malala, Wall-E, Shawshank Redemption, Godfather III, and 100+ films as drum/synthesizer programmer and pianist
  • TV: 2016 National Democratic Convention underscore, Touchstone TV logo, Award-winning TV series: Fame, Cheers, Family Ties, Star Trek: Next Generation
  • Commercials: Oldsmobile, Blockbuster, Hyundai, Toyota, Dodge and 100+


  • Jazz at the White House – 2016 Emmy Nomination for Best Music Direction - ABC
  • Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful, MD and theme composer - NBC 2014
  • American Idol (multi-platinum Carrie Underwood victory in 2005, Associate Music Director) FOX 2005
  • American Idol Lead Arranger FOX 2015 -2016
  • Sing Your Face Off - ABC 2014
  • Duets with John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke, Jennifer Nettles - ABC 2012
  • Search for the Next Pussycat Dolls - CW 2007
  • Carly Simon A Moonlight Serenade aboard Queen Mary, Conductor - PBS 2005


  • Rhianna VMA performance 2016, Robert Glasper performance African American Museum 2016 Opening Concert ABC TV, SR Big Band Stuttgart-Germany, Luckman Jazz Orchestra
  • TV shows: American Idol (2005-2016), The Tonight Show, VHI Divas special, The Winner Is, America’s Got Talent, Singing Bee, Duets, Search for the Next Pussy Cat Doll


  • 2 GRAMMY® nominations, MONK’estra Vol 1, Best Large Jazz Ensemble, Best Arrangement 2017
  • GRAMMY® nomination, Dr.Um Peter Erskine+John Beasley, Best Instrumental Jazz album, 2017
  • Emmy nomination, Jazz at the White House, Best Musical Direction, John Beasley, 2016
  • GRAMMY® nomination, Positootly!, Best Instrumental Jazz album, 2011


  • Guest Lecturer: Julliard NY, Rutgers NJ, Rotterdam Conservatory, ASCAP, I Create Music, GRAMMY® Camp and master classes in US, Guatemala, Taiwan, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
  • Governor of the Board GRAMMY/The Recording Academy, 18th Street Arts