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It’s Monk’s Time!: John Beasley Presents MONK’estra & T.S. Monk Sextet

February 25, 2017 | 7:00 pm

- $29 – $59
Revolution Hall

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In celebration of Thelonious Monk’s 100th birthday, we present It’s Monk’s Time, an evening of music inspired by the legendary pianist and composer. MONK’estra, a 15-piece big band, will be paired with the T.S. Monk Sextet on a For Portland Only double bill.

Grammy® & Emmy Award-nominated musician and conductor John Beasley presents MONK’estra, an innovative big band project that captures the spirit and eclecticism of Thelonious Monk’s singular music – the off-beat melodies and humor, strange beauty and unbounded swing – in fresh arrangements flavored with New Orleans spirit, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban rhythms and atmospheric colors. Beasley, a far-ranging pianist, composer, and arranger who has worked with Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Dianne Reeves, Steely Dan, Chaka Khan and James Brown, is one of the busiest and most versatile performers in jazz. He has led a expansive career that has balanced work as a bandleader, a first-call keyboardist, composer, and arranger for film and television including American Idol and ABC’s Jazz Day at The White House, along with being Music Director for the Monk Institute. Beasley re-imagines Monk’s compositions with an eye to the future; a forward thinking 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. MONK’estra released its debut album, MONK’estra, Volume 1, on Mack Avenue Records in August 2016 and has been nominated for two 2017 Grammys: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album and Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Capella on “Ask me Now”.

He lifts Monk’s melodies away from their native idiom of bebop and replants them in the musically cosmopolitan 21st century…There’s a lot to take in, and a lot of conventional ideas to set aside, but through it all Monk’s themes emerge as strong as ever.” – The Guardian


T.S. Monk, the son of Thelonious Monk, is a drummer, composer and bandleader. T.S. was drawn to the drums before the age of 10, and his destiny was sealed when Max Roach, with whom he studied, gave him his first drum set. Subsequently, T.S. joined his father’s trio and toured with him until the elder’s retirement in 1975, after which T.S. set out on his career. Shortly after his father passed away, T.S. turned his attention toward forming the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. As Chairman, he has been at the forefront of helping to create a number of music education programs and scholarship opportunities.  In 1992, T.S. formed his jazz sextet and promptly recorded back to back albums for the storied Blue Note Records. Their cohesive and driving style has been heard at clubs and festivals all over the world. Over the years T.S. has collaborated with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Arturo Sandoval, Dianne Reeves and many other jazz greats. Ultimately, both critics and the public have lauded T.S. Monk as his father’s true musical heir.