Erskine, Beasley, & Robaire
ABOUT PETER ERSKINE:
Peter Erskine has played the drums since the age of four and is known for his versatility and love of working in different musical contexts. He appears on 700 albums and film scores, and has won two Grammy Awards, plus an Honorary Doctorate from the Berklee School of Music (1992).
Fifty albums have been released under his own name or as co-leader. He has played with the Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson Big Bands, Weather Report, Steps Ahead, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Kenny Wheeler, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Brecker Brothers, The Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny and Gary Burton, John Scofield, et al, and has appeared as a soloist with the London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Frankfurt Radio, Scottish Chamber, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Royal Opera House, BBC Symphony, Oslo and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. Peter premièred the double percussion concerto Fractured Lines, composed by Mark-Anthony Turnage, at the BBC Proms with Andrew Davis conducting, and has collaborated frequently with Sir Simon Rattle. He also premiered the Turnage opera “Anna Nicole” at the Royal Opera House in London. Turnage has composed a solo concerto for Peter titled “Erskine,” which received its world premiere in Bonn, Germany in 2013, with a US premiere at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic. Peter has been voted ’Best Jazz Drummer of the Year’ ten times by the readers of Modern Drummer magazine and was elected into the magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2017.
Peter graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and studied at Indiana University under George Gaber. In 1972 Peter commenced his pro career playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Four years later, he joined Maynard Ferguson before working with Jaco Pastorius in Weather Report and moving to Los Angeles. Peter recorded five albums with the band. He won his first Grammy Award with their album ’8.30’. During this time in LA, he also worked with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Chick Corea, Bobby Hutcherson, Joe Farrell and George Cables. Peter then moved to New York City where he worked for five years with such musicians as Michael Brecker, Mike Mainieri, Eddie Gomez and Eliane Elias in Steps Ahead, John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Marc Johnson in the legendary group Bass Desires, the John Abercrombie Trio plus Bob Mintzer’s Big Band.
Peter’s lived in LA since 1987 but has been travelling around the world all of that time, working with such artists as Diana Krall, Joni Mitchell, Vince Mendoza, Steely Dan, plus European musicians Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler, Palle Danielsson, John Taylor, Kate Bush, Nguyen Lê, Rita Marcotulli, the Norrbotten Big Band in Sweden plus Sadao Watanabe in Japan. He won his second Grammy Award as the drummer of the WDR big band in Köln along with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Vince Mendoza and others for the “Some Skunk Funk” album. Meanwhile, Peter keeps busy in on the road and in LA with such artists as Seth MacFarlane, Patrick Williams, plus John Beasley, Bob Sheppard and Benjamin Shepherd (all 3 musicians members of his Dr. Um Band), as well as playing in the studios. Films where Peter’s drumming can be heard include “Memoirs of a Geisha,” all three of the Austin Powers movies, “The Secret Life of Pets,” plus the title music of the Steven Spielberg/John Williams collaboration, “The Adventures of Tintin.” He also played the jazz drumming cues on the Academy Award-winning soundtrack for “La La Land,” and can be heard playing on the scores for “Sing,” “Logan” and “House of Cards.”
Peter produces jazz recordings for his record label, Fuzzy Music, with 4 Grammy nominations to its credit. Peter is also an active author with several books to his credit; titles include “No Beethoven (Autobiography & Chronicle of Weather Report),” “Time Awareness for All Musicians,” “Essential Drum Fills,” and his latest book (co-authored with Dave Black for Alfred Publishing), “The Drummers’ Lifeline.” He is also authoring a series of iOS Play-Along apps suitable for all instruments.
Peter is Professor of Practice and Director of Drumset Studies at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California. Peter plays Tama Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, Remo Drum Heads, Meinl Percussion, and uses Shure Microphones and Zoom digital recording devices.
ABOUT JOHN BEASLEY:
In the course of three decades, Mack Avenue recording artist John Beasley has carved an enviable reputation – or actually, two reputations. First and foremost, he is an uncommonly versatile, unerringly exciting pianist who has worked with such music icons as Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard – playing in the bands of both these trumpet legends while still in his 20s – as well as with Herbie Hancock Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Christian McBride, Chaka Khan (and even, for one night, with James Brown). But Beasley is also an accomplished composer, and a distinctive arranger who works regularly with in film and television, earning five GRAMMY nominations and an Emmy nod along the way. And he has worked extensively on soundtracks, primarily those of famed film scorer Thomas Newman, including the James Bond hits Spectre and Skyfall.Beasley’s arranging skills find no better showcase than on the albums MONK’estra (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), each of which received two GRAMMY nominations. MONK’estra is a smashing 15-piece big band that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk’s singular music in fresh arrangements flavored with contemporary sounds that range from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop. Critics have called it “some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory.”MONK’estra began its global tour in 2017 kicking off in Pyeongchang, South Korea and finishing the year with the HR Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany. This year, MONK’estra got the show on the road at the Chicago Symphony Center in January and will have a world premiere of a cinematic concert “MONK+MONK’estra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall where Monk will ‘perform’ on stage with MONK’estra through rare film footage. Beasley continues to balance a multi-faceted career that includes co-producing albums with former Weather Report drummer Peter Erskine; legendary guitarist Lee Ritenour; and oft-awarded vocalist Dianne Reeves. Every year, Beasley resumes his role as Music Director for the Thelonious Monk Institute’s globally heard International Jazz Day concerts, collaborating with the Institute’s Chairman Herbie Hancock. In 2017, this all-star concert was held in Cuba and broadcast throughout the country and on BET TV in America. The 2016 event was hosted by President Obama at the White House and was broadcast on ABC-TV, gaining Beasley an Emmy nomination for Best Musical Direction. This year, Beasley heads to St Petersburg to direct the Jazz Day concert which will be streamed worldwide on April 30th. www.JohnBeasleyMusic.com
ABOUT DAVE ROBAIRE:
Although Dave Robaire is a native of Los Angeles, his career really began to blossom when he moved to New York City in 2004. During this time, Dave studied at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music while taking private lessons with one of today's true masters of the bass, John Patitucci. From the beginning of his career, Dave's innate versatility led him to work with band leaders from all across the jazz genre including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Andy Milne's Dapp Theory, Gilad Heksleman, Jonathan Batiste, and guitar legend Pat Martino.
After five years in New York, Dave and his wife Vanessa decided moved back to LA for a change of pace. Before leaving the east coast however, Robaire documented his experiences on Away and Back, his first recording as a leader which features Edward Simon, Marcus Gilmore, Kyle Wilson, and Vanessa Robaire. Shortly after the cross-country move, Dave was accepted into the masters program at California Institute of the Arts where he had the opportunity to study with the great Darek "Oles" Oleszkiewicz. Immediately following his two years at CalArts, Robaire auditioned for the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance in front of a panel of judges including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jimmy Heath, Kenny Burrell, and James Newton. Dave, along with six of his peers, was accepted into this amazing program which led to study, travel, and performances with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Billy Childs, Benny Golson, Dave Liebman, Ron Carter, Dick Oatts, and Jerry Bergonzi among many others. As he has settled deeper into Los Angeles' growing jazz scene, Robaire has become known as the first choice bassist for many artists as they tour the west coast (Helen Sung, Gilad Hekselman, John Ellis, Edward Simon, Jonathan Kreisberg, Jacky Terrasson, Ben Wendel, Dayna Stephens). Dave is also now a regular member of Jane Monheit's west coast quartet.
Most recently, Robaire has been co-leading the collectively formed group Holophonor, made up of the seven alum of the 2012-2014 Thelonious Monk Institute program. Holophonor will be releasing their second album Light Magnet on October 6, 2017 on World Galaxy Records. This project was produced by the group's mentors, 10-time GRAMMY winning saxophonist, composer, Wayne Shorter.
In 2015, Robaire was invited to join the jazz faculty at California State University, Northridge (CSUN)'s prestigious music school, and in 2018 he also joined the faculty at Pasadena City College.
- Peter Erskine$10$100$0