From her native Portugal to her adopted home in the Netherlands, Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated vocalist and composer Maria Mendes has traveled a world of musical expression. Hailed by DownBeat magazine as “a jazz singer of the highest order,” Mendes’ praises have been sung by such legends as Quincy Jones and Hermeto Pascoal. With Wayne Shorter’s blessings, Mendes premiered his contemporary jazz piece “Gaia” in June 2022 in Germany alongside the Bielefeld Philharmonieker, saxophonist Magnus Lindgren and pianist John Beasley. Mendes’ song “Inverso,” featuring Anat Cohen, was featured on the soundtrack of the International Emmy-winning Portuguese soap opera Ouro Verde in 2018. The vocalist has released four striking solo albums, most recently blending symphonic jazz and Portuguese Fado on the acclaimed Close To Me and the stunning live album Saudade, Colour of Love. Mendes’ wealth of influences and experiences help make up what Exclusive magazine called “one of the most engaging, enchanting vocal approaches… that exists today.”
When you think of an orchestra, you think classical music. That’s not the Metropole Orkest. Playing jazz, pop, world music and film scores, the Metropole Orkest has shared the stage with legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Metheny, Brian Eno, Herbie Hancock, The Basement Jaxx and Bono. The MO invests just as much in playing with the next generation of stars like Kovacs, Robert Glasper, Snarky Puppy, Cory Wong, Gregory Porter, Jacob Collier and Ledisi. Over the years, Metropole Orkest has received no less than 21 Grammy nominations and worked on 4 Grammy-winning productions. The orchestra has produced more than 150 albums and thousands of radio and television broadcasts, requiring over 600 arrangements per year in every imaginable style.
Grammy winning and Emmy nominated keyboardist, composer, and arranger John Beasley began his career working with such icons as Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard and has gone on to perform with a wide range of artists, including Dianne Reeves, Ivan Lins, John Patitucci, Chaka Khan, Christian McBride, Carly Simon, to name a few. Beasley served as Music Director for international tours with Steely Dan, AR Rahman and Queen Latifah and co-MD for Chucho Valdes. He is also the Music Director for the International Jazz Day global gala concerts hosted by the Herbie Hancock Jazz Institute. He has released three albums on Mack Avenue featuring his acclaimed, Thelonious Monk-inspired big band the MONK’estra.