Born: October 10
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....
Awards2010 Grammy Nominee: Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group "Positootly!" John Beasley (Resonance Records)
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 Music.com 4 ½ stars
“Positootly! is pure art…fasten your seatbelts…Beasley is masterful on keys.” —LaJazz.com
“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. —Jazz.com: 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)
Letter to HerbieResonance Records
Letter To HerbieResonance Records
One Live NightSelf Produced
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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
John Beasley is available to conduct master classes and workshops with solo or small ensemble playing.
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.