Haven't blogged in a while, so here's an update.
Last week, I went to Senegal, Africa for the first time to play with the Iranian chanteuse Sussan Deyhim at the St Louis jazz festival. Sussan brought together Will Calhoun, Alan Kushan, Jon Ossman to play her thrilling music -have a listen to Sussan's music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtiGPUFVqD8.
We had some boisterous times and meals with Charles Aznavour who was there to celebrate his 88th birthday. French pianist René Urtreger got so many stories out of Charles and kept us entertained. Rene worked with Miles Davis on the soundtrack for that 1958 Louis Malle film Ascenseur pour l'échafaud/Elevator to the Gallows, so he had his share of stories too. Will post photos on FB.
Got some beach time at this wonderful resort Ocean and Savane on the Barbary Coast. The band took the opportunity to visit Goree Island, where there is a museum and memorial to the Atlantic slave trade - The House of Slaves (Maison des Esclaves) and its Door of No Return.
What an emotional experience.
Back in LA, and working on the following projects and realize I'm hitting a lot of media this month: TV, radio with my new CD, film with this feel-good film, and on stage at the Hollywood Bowl.
Hope to see or hear from you.
WHAT'S ON with John Beasley Gig Calendar
EVERY Thursday June and July 8/7pm CT USA/Canada
ABC TV DUETS singing competition
Music Director: John Beasley
Celebrity Singers: John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke
"Duets" competition takes the Superstars out from behind the judge's panel and onto the stage. Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, and Robin Thicke set out on a journey across America looking for undiscovered talent worthy to be their "Duet" partner. Each Superstar will choose two singers to be their duet partners. Together, the Superstar and their partner will perform in front of a live studio audience under the music direction of John Beasley. In the end, one duet will be at the top of the charts and win a recording contract with Hollywood Records.
Tune in or record every Thursday: http://beta.abc.go.com/shows/duets
June 12, Tuesday RECORD RELEASE RECORD RELEASE RECORD RELEASE
Three generations of Miles Davis alumni join forces to create a rousing brand of jazz inspired by funk and soul with signature Louisiana/Chicago rootsy sounds. 3 Brave Souls self-titled CD features vocalist Sy Smith and Gregoire Maret on harmonica. Filled with thick-pocket grooves, this collection of listenable, danceable, melodic music brings the funk and plenty of downhome soul leaving you foot-tapping and sliding.
To listen, dance to, and BUY on June 12 – http://www.bfmjazz.com
June 27, Wednesday 8pm Los Angeles
A celebration of MILES DAVISHerbie Hancock, host
Miles Electric Band, featuring Vince Wilburn, Darryl Jones, Nicholas Payton, Blackbird McKnight, Mino Cinelu, Antoine Rooney, John Beasley
Homage to trumpet player/visionary/modernist Miles Davis, from a complete performance of his masterpiece Kind of Blue, through the ’70s with the Miles Electric Band, to his pop-influenced album Tutu.
Miles Davis Postage Stamp Dedication – 7pm Hollywood Bowl's Museum Terrace Hollywood Bowl 2301 North Highland Avenue Hollywood, 90068 323.850.2000
Composer Thomas Newman, featuring me on keyboards+drum programming
Soundrack for SALE: http://bit.ly/KdnM0q
REVIEWER: Jorn Tillnes, SoundTrackGeek
Superb stuff. What makes this score special and different is that there is a lot of Indian sounding music yet you can still feel the Newman touch. What happens if you mix Thomas Newman with Indian music? I guess there's no secret: Pure bliss. Sometimes you sit down and listen to a score that truly amazes you and take you on a journey you had not foreseen, this is such a score. The Indian music in this score is not just windows dressing but gives it an awesome quality. You have very Indian sounding cues like 'The Chimes at Midnight' and cues like 'Cricket Spell' sounds so Thomas Newman, but there's a lot more. I love the way he uses a lot of vocals in some cues to great effect such as in 'Night Bus'. The underscoring is so Newman but the added vocals make it exciting.
International Jazz Day – Paris, New Orleans, New York concerts VIEW online
The inaugural International Jazz Day concerts featured many of the finest jazz musicians in the world, including: Herbie Hancock, John Beasley (MD Paris concert), Tony Bennett, George Benson, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Gerald Clayton, Vinnie Colaiuta, Robert Cray, Eli Degibri, Jack DeJohnette, George Duke, Sheila E, Roland Guerin, Antonio Hart, Jimmy Heath, Barbara Hendricks, Hiromi, Zakir Hussain, Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo, Biréli Lagrène, Lang Lang, Lionel Loueke, Joe Lovano, Romero Lubambo, Ibrahim Maalouf, Shankar Mahadevan, Tania Maria, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, China Moses, Danilo Perez, Dianne Reeves, Kermit Ruffins, Bobby Sanabria, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Bill Summers, Susan Tedeschi, Treme Brass Band, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Dr. Michael White, Ben Williams, Tarek Yamani.
John Beasley’s Unesco interview: http://bit.ly/L6SMCv
Playing on Wayne Krantz | Howie 61
Playing on my former Steely Dan mate with Vinnie Colaiuta and Tal Wilkenfeld, John Patitucci, Charley Drayton, David Binney, Keith Carlock, James Genus, Gabriela Anders, Nate Wood, Henry Hey, Owen Biddle
Guardian UK review: Krantz's enduring ability to make a single hook the fuel for long jams that keep shifting gears and changing colouration – and his flawless feel for both the visceral buzz of rock and the improv freedoms of jazz.
S P R E A D THE W O R D!