Grammy Nominee John Beasley To Perform At SMMUSD's Stairway Of Stars

Sunday, 9 Feb 2014, 9:19:00 AM

Brenton Garen

Grammy-nominee pianist, composer, and arranger John Beasley.
Photo by Richard Schoenberg
Grammy-nominee pianist, composer, and arranger John Beasley.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s coveted Stairway Honor Award recipient is this year being awarded to the Beasley Family.

This year’s 65th Annual Stairway of Stars is a three-part series of concerts that started Friday night and will continue Tuesday and Thursday nights at Barnum Hall on the campus of Santa Monica High School.

The Stairway Honor Award recipient is given annual to a former teacher, student, or organization that has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the arts and music program in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

Rule Beasley taught a variety of music classes at Santa Monica College and played the bassoon in the Santa Monica Symphony for 20 years.

His late wife, Lida Beasley, taught orchestra at John Adams Middle School, Santa Monica High School, and Santa Monica College.

Their son John Beasley is an internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and will be performing at the band concert this Tuesday, Feb. 11. He and his father will be accepting the award.

John Beasley is a Grammy-nominated recording artist with a music career that spans three decades.

His credits reads like a who’s who list in the music and entertainment world performing, recording, and touring with major jazz, pop, and world artists; composing for hit-TV series; arranging for bands and orchestras; working on award-winning films; and at the helm of reality singing shows as Music Director. He is a Governor at the GRAMMY Recording Academy and a Guest Lecturer at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music.

Highlights of Beasley’s multi-track and multi-faceted career includes:

• Pianist/Keyboardist for Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Chaka Khan, Carly Simon, Christina McBride, Dianne Reeves, Kenny Garrett, Stanley Clarke, Lee Ritenour, even a stint with James Brown, Barbra Streisand, Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, Cyndi Lauper

• Music Director, TV shows:

- Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Swimsuit Edition, theme composer

- Sing Your Face Off, ABC, 2013

- Duets (Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke), ABC, 2012

- American Idol (Carrie Underwood’s victory), FOX 2005

- Search for the Next Pussycat Dolls, CW, 2007

• Music Director for tours:

- Steely Dan Art Crimes world tour

- Queen Latifah’s Travelin’ Lite 40-city US Tour

- AR Rahman Jai Ho world tour

• Music Director for concert events

- International Jazz Day gala concerts (upcoming Osaka, 2014, Istanbul, 2013, Paris, 2012)

- Los Angeles Philharmonic Jazz and the Orchestra 5-concert serie

• TV composer: Fame, Cheers, Family Ties, Star Trek: Next Gen, Touchstone TV logo

• Pianist and Programmer for films: James Bond Skyfall, Exotic Marigold Hotel, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Shawshank Redemption, Godfather III

• Record Producer EWE Japan artists Chie Ayado – 3 albums, Hiroshi Imade, Yosvany Terry (Cuban)

• 11 recordings, including Grammy-nominated Positootly! (Best Instrumental Jazz Album)

• Arranger for Luckman Jazz Orchestra, The Tonight Show, VHI Divas special, American Idol, The Winner Is, America’s Got Talent, Singing Bee

• Educator/Clinician: Guest Lecturer Rotterdam Conservatory, 2013; ASCAP I Create Music, Grammy Camp, Jazz Camps in Guatemala, Taiwan, Guadalajara, Netherlands

For more information about Tuesday and Thursday’s concerts, click here.

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