John Beasley

Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: October 10    

John Beasley

Grammy-nominated recording artist John Beasley’s music career spans three decades.

LA Times jazz critic Bill Kohlhaasee describes Beasley’s music and playing as “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.”

NARAS/GRAMMY Govenor, Beasley's credits cross the spectrum of the entertainment world: performing, recording, and touring with major jazz, pop, and world artists; composing for hit-TV series; arranging for ensembles and orchestras; working on award-winning films and commercials. With the popularity of reality singing TV shows, Beasley has taken the helm as Music Director for major studio shows....
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2010 Grammy Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group "Positootly!" John Beasley (Resonance Records)
John Beasley is one of the best pianists and improvisers on the jazz scene today. Beasley is a master musician, with total command of the jazz language, and his playing is always intense in both emotion and technique. —All About Jazz (Wilbert Sostre)

“The pianist and composer John Beasley has one of the most formidable tasks of anyone associated with today's International Jazz Day, the celebration produced by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He's music director of the centerpiece concert to be live-streamed from Istanbul ...That means Beasley put together the lineups from a star-studded international cast, with a set list meant to charm the world. His cast is headed by international superstars Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Palmieri, Robert Glasper, Ramsey Lewis, Esperanza Spalding, Joss Stone, Anat Cohen, Branford Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Keiko Matsui, Lee Ritenour, Joe Louis Walker, Ruben Blades and Jean- Luc Ponty. They'll perform with Turkish musicians Husnu Senlendirici, Imer Demirer, Bilal Karaman and many others.... Having served as music director for artists ranging from Queen Latifah to Freddie Hubbard — and worked as MD for the first International Jazz Day concert in 2012 — Beasley seems well-prepared for the job.” -NPR Music - A Supreme Blog (Howard Mandel)

Beasley is also a singular pianist who is chirpy and breaks up his dazzling melodic runs with staccato perfunctory harmonic statements that then bend the music in another surprising direction. Thus he is never predictable and always makes a new surprise flow through the tips of his fingers that take the keyboard to task every once and awhile. —Latin Jazz.Net (Raul da Gama)

“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.” —LA Times

CD REVIEWS: 3 Brave Souls: “tangy, ass-wiggling funk...a groove so deep you could fall right in… potent pulse… great, greasy lines by Beasley…a fun romp ...more bite than a simple groove record …tasty stuff that needs to happen more often… contagious and penetrating grooves… honey dew sounds of southern soul… entertaining recipe of pop, world, R&B and soul injected with funk blasts and contemporary jazz class…. a fantastic recording that is simply pure funk…”

“sumptuous potion of distinct, powerful and peerless music created by this superb Trio”

“they collectively stir up a melting pot of jazz-funk, organic grooves, and soulful sounds resonate feverishly through the walls of these eleven songs is uplifted to greater heights by an extraordinary cast of guest performers” — Urban Funk, Urban Music, Something Else!

Positootly! John is truly an amazing pianist, imaginative composer, creative improviser and arranger. And with Positootly he created an album that people will look back as one of the first Jazz classic albums of the 21th century. —JazzTimes

One of the most energetic recordings of the past year. “Positootly!” accurately sums the spirit of this Grammy-nominated disc. —Jazz Police

“This recording is his finest effort, and stands proudly alongside his previous recording, a fine tribute to Herbie Hancock.” —All 4 ½ stars

“Positootly! is pure art…fasten your seatbelts…Beasley is masterful on keys.” —

“Positootly!” swings and features Beasley’s lyrical piano playing. Jobim’s “Dindi” is as beautiful as ever and is rendered in a 5/4 tempo that is a testament to Beasley’s arranging skills. —Sounds of Timeless Jazz

Letter To Herbie (Resonance Records) Beasley opted for an all out tribute with an all star cast including Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Christian McBride and Roy Hargrove. In the true jazz tradition, Beasley has brilliantly interpreted Hancock’s music, transforming ‘4AM’ from its original funk into a swinging uptempo affair and juxtaposing ‘Tell Me A Bedtime Story’ and ‘Maiden Voyage’ into ‘Bedtime Voyage’. Herbie’s reply must surely be ‘You’ve done me proud’. —Drummer UK (Brent Keefe)

Song “Bedtime Voyage” Letter to Herbie (Resonance Records) Clever arrangements. Hancock never wrote a song called “Bedtime Voyage,” but Beasley does a 'mash-up' of “Maiden Voyage” and “Tell Me A Bedtime Story,” two of Herbie's finest compositions. This mash is a real banger, and I would go back for second helpings. Beasley is quite effective, especially as a rhythm section pianist, and has mastered a number of Hancock's signature devices. This is a strong performance and a notch above your typical tribute project. — 4 stars (Ted Gioia)

A first call pianist/keyboardist has been one of the best kept secrets in jazz. “Letter to Herbie” is an extremely impressive recording that satisfies from end to end. The rhythmn section is two of the most important players in the last 20 years - Christian McBride and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Beasley, McBride and Watts immediately turn on the pots and get to smokin'! If you purchase this cd, you will get an immediate insight into what's happen in jazz at this moment. —Amazon 5 Solid Stars! (Skip Norris)

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    Letter to Herbie

    Resonance Records
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    Resonance Records
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    Letter To Herbie

    Resonance Records
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    One Live Night

    Self Produced

This information is provided by or the profile administrator.

Primary Instrument:

Los Angeles, CA

Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.

Beasley has led music/jazz/piano clinics and workshops worldwide over the past 25 years across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America, including The Grammy Foundation's camps, The Music School (Utah), ASCAP (I Create Music) Politrius Music School (Guatemala), Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Maastricht Conservatories in Netherlands, to name a few. Private lessons - rates are negotiable Hours - when not on tour

Clinic/Workshop Information:
John Beasley is available to conduct master classes and workshops with solo or small ensemble playing.

Workshop/Clinic Topics:

  • Composition
  • Improvisation
  • Arrangement
  • Modern Jazz Harmony
  • Solo or Small Ensemble Playing
  • Functioning in the Rhythm Section
  • Writing for Television, Commercials, and Film
  • Electronic Studio Technology
  • Record Producer
  • Vocal Producer
  • Contemporary Singing
  • Musical Director
  • Preparation for Auditions and Performing As a clinician, Beasley can share his experiences and discuss:
  • Imparting lessons he has learned from playing in the rhythm section backing up many of the world’s greatest artists, including: Freddie Hubbard The role of the rhythm section; playing in the “pocket”; comping; the necessity of maintaining the high energy levels demanded by Hubbard; Chaka Khan Playing in an R&B rhythm section - simple and funky; Steely Dan The role of a musical director; learning interesting and unusual song forms; rehearsal techniques; and voicings; Miles Davis Phrasing, form, and contemporary jazz harmony; Carly Simon, Dianne Reeves, Queen Latifah, Kenny Rankin Accompanying a vocalist; Thomas Newman Film scoring techniques; incorporating samples and loops with orchestra.
  • Developing a unique sound – method and tools;
  • Composing and editing original material;
  • Playing in different styles, be it jazz, rock and roll, jazz, or R&B;
  • Production techniques using PRO TOOLS, synthesizer orchestration, sequencing, vocal comping, drum programming; and
  • Writing for TV commercials, overdubs and tracking for records, film scores, emphasizing practical workable methods. Beasley covers all of these topics under four general themes: Feel, Sound, Form, and Phrase. Beasley has led music/jazz/piano clinics and workshops worldwide over the past 25 years across the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America, including The Grammy Foundation's camps, The Music School (Utah), Politrius Music School (Guatemala), CoArts Rotterdam Conservatory and Maastricht Conservatory Music (Holland), to name a few. BOOKING: Contact This e- mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • My Studio Equipment:

  • ProTools HD
  • Yamaha C7 grand piano
  • Neumann U 67 Microphone
  • 2 Neumann KM 184 Microphones
  • FOCUS Rite 4-channel digital pre-amp
  • Scheffler 2-channel analog pre-amp
  • Universal audio 1176 Compressor Limitor
  • Fender Rhodes Suitcase Electric Piano
  • Wurlitzer Electric Piano
  • Kurzweil PC 3
  • NORD Lead 2
  • Kontakt 3
  • Reaktor 5
  • Massive
  • Battery 3
  • FM8 B4-2
  • Pro-53
  • Spectra Sonics Stylist RMX
  • Guitar Rig 3
  • Reason
  • LIVE Arranging:
    For arranging, I use SIBELIUS. Files can be sent as Sibelius or PDF.

    John Beasley is a Yamaha artist, who uses Native Instruments software, M-Audio hardware, Kurzweil synthesizers, iZotope Ozone plug-in, and Yamihiko piano pickups. Also, endorser for Rhodes and Behringer.

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