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John Rule Beasley (born October 10, 1960)[1] is an American jazz pianist who has recorded and performed with Miles Davis, Steely Dan, Chaka Khan, James Brown, Spice Girls, Dianne Reeves, Sérgio Mendes, Freddie Hubbard, John Patitucci, Queen Latifah, Lee Ritenour, Mike Stern, and Ivan Lins.

John Beasley
Birth nameJohn Rule Beasley
Born (1960-10-10) October 10, 1960 (age 58)
Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.
GenresJazz, classical, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, record producer, arranger, composer
InstrumentsPiano, keyboards
Years active1980–present
LabelsWindham Hill, Resonance, BFM Jazz, Mack Avenue
Associated actsSergio Mendez, Freddie Hubbard, MONK'estra


Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Beasley is third-generation musician who was raised in a house filled with music. His grandfather, Rule Oliver played trombone in territory bands and was a junior high school band director for 50 years in Arkansas. His mother, Lida Beasley, is a brass instrumentalist, who for most of her career taught music at various public schools and colleges, along with being band director and conducting operas, earning a local Emmy award for her work in Faust.

Growing up around musicians, Beasley learned how to play trumpet, oboe, drums, saxophone, and flute, mostly because of his mother's need for wind instrumentalists for her bands. His father, Rule Curtis Beasley (b. 1931), is a pianist and bassoonist, who played with the Fort Worth Symphony.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Rule Beasley also was a professor of music composition at University of North Texas College of Music and at Santa Monica College, where he taught many musicians performing today.

Beasley created a drum set with garbage can lids and kitchen pots and pans when he was around two years old. His grandfather started bringing him drum parts, which he put together, and had a drum set from age four to high school. Beasley began piano lessons at the age of seven and stopped taking formal lessons when he started high school. In sixth grade, he had private lessons with a university oboe teacher that lasted three years. He taught himself to play the sax, flute, and trumpet and began playing for the John Adams Junior School and Santa Monica College orchestras that his mother led.

Beasley started writing music in junior high school. After his father bought him a Bobby Timmons record, he wanted to play jazz. In Grade 7, he formed a jazz band with high school-aged friends. Always mesmerized by inner melodies and day-dreaming, on family camping trips he packed his score pad to compose and arrange.


Beasley toured with Sergio Mendes in 1980, then worked as a studio musician. For six years he worked with Freddie Hubbard, then in 1989 toured with Miles Davis.[11] He started the funk band 3 Brave Souls in 2012 with bassist Darryl Jones and drummer Leon "Ndugu" Chancler.[12] He has been music director for the Thelonious Monk Institute Tribute concerts and International Jazz Day concerts.[12]

Beasley was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction for Jazz at the White House.[13] He received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Positootly![12] and nominations for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Monk'estra, Volume 1 and MONK'estra Volume 2.


Date Title Label
1992 Cauldron Windham Hill
1993 A Change of Heart Windham Hill
1994 Mose the Fireman Rabbit Ears
2001 Surfacing Beasley
2005 One Live Night Beasley
2008 Letter to Herbie Resonance
2009 Positootly! Resonance
2012 3 Brave Souls BFM
2016 John Beasley Presents Monk'estra, Volume 1 Mack Avenue
2017 Monk'estra, Volume 2 Mack Avenue


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index, Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ E. Ruth Anderson (1928– ), Contemporary American Composers, A Biographical Dictionary, first edition, G. K. Hall & Co., Boston (1976).
  3. ^ E. Ruth Anderson (1928– ), Contemporary American Composers. A biographical dictionary, second edition, G.K. Hall & Co., Boston (1982).
  4. ^ International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory, eighth edition, International Who's Who in Music, Cambridge, England (1977)
  5. ^ Adrian Gaster, International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory, ninth edition, International Who's Who in Music, Cambridge, England (1980).
  6. ^ International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory, 10th edition, International Who's Who in Music, Cambridge, England (1984).
  7. ^ Who's Who in American Music: Classical, R. R. Bowker, New York (1983)
  8. ^ Who's Who in Entertainment, 2nd edition, 1992-1993, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, Illinois (1992).
  9. ^ Who's Who in Entertainment, 3rd edition, 1998–1999, Marquis Who's Who, New Providence, New Jersey (1997).
  10. ^ Who's Who in the West. 21st edition, 1987-1988, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, Illinois (1987).
  11. ^ Yanow, Scott. "John Beasley". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Bio ‹ John Beasley". Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  13. ^ "John Beasley | Television Academy". Emmys. Retrieved 1 December 2017.

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