Friday, February 18, 2011

Back from Japan and the headiness of the Grammys
Still jetlagged from the tour in Japan a week ago, which was compounded by immediate rehearsals with the LA Philharmonic and my jazz band for the upcoming shows at Disney Hall just 4 hours after the long plane ride and…on top of that…the headiness of all the Grammy events and activities. My hands are still clapping for James Moody, Roy Haynes, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Bruce Lundvall, Esperanza, Herbie, Stanley Clarke, Chucho and Billy Childs and all the other winners. Did u ask what I was wearing? I brought Japan back with me and donned a Yojhi Yamamoto for all u fashion fans!

Post-mortem on tour in Japan

Mike Stern is so musically inquisitive. Always, was he asking questions about music, looking for new ideas, carrying around his ‘scrolls’ filled all kinds of licks. It was good to experience his passion. On stage every night, Lee and Mike were inspiring each other to new musical heights. The rhythm section (Simon Phillips, Melvin Davis and me) kept pushing Mike and Lee to go further. It was on-the-spot fun. Didn’t see much of Japan outside the hotel room, because I was reworking Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide song for Dianne Reeves performance at Lincoln Center last weekend. Did any of you catch those concerts? It’s always a pleasure to work with Dianne. And, it was so nice to see my friends in Japan. Thank you for coming out.

Onto making and playing more music

Tomorrow, the first of the “Jazz and the Orchestra” concerts starts. I hope you can come out and with your kids. I had no idea of how dramatic life is for an Itsy Bitsy Spider…climbing, being washed out and having hope again (hmmm…what I felt like during the Grammys!) Seriously, Roy McCurdy, Bijon Wilson, Carlos Del Puerto, Bob Sheppard (19th), Benn Clattworthy (26th) will be joining me, along with the FAB LA Phil musicians led by Josh Weilerstein. What I’ve learned from the rehearsals so far is that music is easier to learn than a script.

Movie time - The Adjustment Bureau

Excited about listening to Tom Newman’s whole score in the upcoming The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. It’s always a thrill to work with the inventive Tom.

Dexter and the LJO
Putting on the arrangement hat and working on two songs: Montmartre and Don’t Explain for the Dexter Gordon Tribute with the Luckman Jazz Orchestra.

Spring in the EAST
Back on the A.R. Rahman speed train to Singapore for 4 concerts. Watch for A.R.’s performance at the Oscars – he has TWO nominations for composition and best song for 127 Hours! Chanting for you A.R.

Bitches Brew turns 40!
Will be brewing hard and melting all that snow in C H I C A G O with Dave Leibman, Darryl Jones, Robert Irving III, Badal Roy, Mino Cinelu, Munyungo Jackson, Nicholas Payton, Blackbyrd McKnight, and Mr Vincent Wilburn Jr with DJ Logic. Virgin Air has a $99 sale right now to Chicago…come join us!
Oh Canada!
Chillin’ in Toronto for a week doing a recording with a young pop star – no, it’s not that hair-swept teen that Esperanza surprised. What in the water in Canada? Drake, Beiber, Arcade Fire!!!

Reuniting with Jeff “Tain” Watts
…at the Cape May Jazz festival with my Positootly! band. This festival is 35 years old! Thank you NJ for keeping the jazz flame! Then, hanging in NYC and hoping to do some playing and hanging. Drop me a line!

Letter to Herbie: Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, “Tain”, Steve Taviglione, Michael O’Neill, Louis Conte
All About Jazz:

Positootly! Jeff Tain Watts, Bennie Maupin, Brian Lynch, Munyungo Jackson
E-Jazz News:
Jazz Times:
Jazz Police:


Saturdays: Feb 19 + 26 11am Los Angeles
Jazz and the Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic

John Beasley Jazz Host and Joshua Weilerstein, conductor

Walt Disney Concert Hall - 111 South Grand Ave., LA, CA 90012-323.850.2000

Join the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Joshua Weilerstein and Jazz Host John Beasley in an original concert illustrating jazz in small ensemble and large orchestral settings, as well as the subtleties of scatting and improvisation.
**Pre-concert workshops for children at 10am.

March 4 - Film Opening: The Adjustment Bureau
with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt - Composer: Thomas Newman with John Beasley on keyboards

Saturday Mar 12 8pm Los Angeles
Luckman Jazz Orchestra: Tribute to Dexter Gordon

Featuring John Beasley arrangements of Montmarte and Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday/Arthur Herzog Jr)

Luckman Fine Arts Complex, California State LA
5151 State University Drive, LA, CA, 90032
323-343-6600 - Tickets: $25/$30/$35 -

Mar 17, 18, 19 +20 8:30pm Singapore
A.R. Rahman Jai Ho World Tour

Music Director John Beasley heads to Singapore with A.R. Rahman (127 Hours/Slumdog Millionaire), the band, dancers + crew for 4 concerts to continue the world tour - a theatrical experience of music, dance + acrobatics.
Marina Bay Sands, Grand Theatre -

Thurs, Mar 31 8 pm Chicago
Bitches Brew 40th Anniversary Band

Miles Davis’ alumni, including trumpet: Nicholas Payton Sax: Dave Leibman Bass: Darryl Jones Guitar: Blackbyrd McKnight Tabla: Badal Roy Percussion: Mino Cinelu Percussion: Munyungo Jackson Keyboards: Robert Irving III Keyboards: John Beasley Drums: Vincent Wilburn Jr. Turntables: DJ Logic pay tribute to the seminal Miles Davis album Bitches Brew on the 40th anniversary.
Marty’s $25
3855 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613

Apr 2-6 Toronto
Recording with pop artist

Saturday, Apr 9 9pm-midnight New Jersey
John Beasley Positootly! Band, featuring Jeff “Tain” Watts

Cape May Jazz Festival -