As a young artist, Louisiana-native John Beasley declined a Julliard oboe scholarship in order to pursue his true love: jazz. The multi-instrumentalist and composer has gone on to work with Sergio Mendes, Chick Corea and, in the late 1980s, Miles Davis. Beasley began composing music for television and film at the age of 24, and has continued to lend his talents to the small and big screen while releasing his own original work. His latest album, Letter to Herbie, came out in 2008. The following year, he served as artistic director on the Miles from India show at the Festival.