An original artist with a highly expressive and personal style, veteran pianist-composer-arranger John Beasley’s music career spans three decades. Beasley’s credits reads like a who’s who list in the music world performing or recording with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, and James Brown’s last concert in Los Angeles.
As Artistic Director for the Monk Institute, Beasley shapes and orchestrates gala concerts, including the UN’s inaugural International Jazz Day event in Paris and the 25th Monk Gala concert at the Kennedy Center in DC. In 2011, Christian McBride handed Beasley over the MD baton for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s series Jazz and the Orchestra. On the road, Beasley directs global tours for major artists such as AR Rahman, Steely Dan, and Queen Latifah. In Hollywood, Beasley works with 10-time Oscar-nominee film composer Thomas Newman on blockbuster films, including James Bond Skyfall, The Exotic Marigold Hotel, Wall-E, Shawshank Redemption, Finding Nemo, and Six Feet Under, to name a few. Beasley started writing for TV at the young age of 24 and spent 10 years working for Paramount and Disney on series hits Star Trek: Next Gen, Cheers, and Fame.
With the popularity of reality TV, Beasley joined American Idol for six seasons as Lead Arranger. In Season 4, Beasley was Associate Music Director for the final female contestants and ushered Carrrie Underwood to victory. In 2012, ABC picked Beasley to MD its singing competition Duets featuring John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles.
In June 2012, Beasley released his tenth recording 3 Brave Souls with fellow Miles Davis alumni: Rolling Stone’s bassist Darryl Jones and Michael Jackson’s drummer on Billie Jean Ndugu Chancler. This latest recording follows his Grammy-nominated CD Positootly!
“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
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