Jazz In the Bay

The best live jazz in San Francisco Bay Area

A curated calendar of the best jazz shows in SF Bay Area

Back to All Events

John Beasley's MONK'estra

  • SFJazz Miner Auditorium 201 Franklin Street San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Tickets   /   Details

John Beasley's contemporary big band pays loving tribute to Thelonious Monk’s music while infusing it with contemporary harmonies, unstoppable grooves, and a contagious sense of fun.

A far-ranging pianist and arranger who’s worked with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Queen Latifah and Steely Dan, Beasley leads a smashing 17-piece big band that 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 hip-hop, Afro-Cuban rhythms and atmospheric colors.

In his review for the International Review of Music, renowned jazz critic Don Heckman described MONK’estra’s arrangements as “some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.” Easily one of the busiest and most versatile musicians in jazz, Beasley has led a sparkling career that has balanced work as a bandleader, a first-call keyboardist, composer, arranger, and Music Director for major tours, film and television. He assembled MONK’estra to explore Monk’s music as well as the work of Duke Ellington, Benny Golson and his own adventurous originals with a band made up of some of the jazz world’s finest instrumentalists. MONK’estra re-imagines Thelonious Monk’s compositions with an eye to the future; a killer contemporary big band that pays loving tribute to the master’s music while infusing it with contemporary harmonies, unstoppable grooves, and a contagious sense of fun.

A labor of love for Beasley and a reminder of the wonderfully malleable nature of Monk’s music when handled with care and ingenuity.
— JazzTimes
John Beasley’s MONK’estra reinvents Thelonious Monk for the 21st Century.
— LA Weekly


John Beasley conductor/arranger/piano
Bijon Watson trumpet
Jamie Hovorka trumpet
Rashawn Ross trumpet
Brian Swartz trumpet
Ryan Dragon trombone
Francisco Torres trombone
Wendell Kelly trombone
Lemar Guillary trombone
Bob Sheppard saxophone
Danny Janklow saxophone
Tom Luer saxophone
Tommy Peterson saxophone
Adam Schroeder saxophone
Ben Shepherd bass
Kendrick Scott drums

Earlier Event: October 14
The Kandinsky Effect
Later Event: October 17
Terry Disley Trio