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Flynn Center to Host Dr. Rick Davies CD Release Party Feb. 17

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vt., will be swinging in high gear on Friday, Feb. 17, when Dr. Rick Davies, associate professor of music at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, throws a release party for his latest CD.

Dr. Rick Davies The CD, Siempre Salsa , is an upbeat collection of original salsa and Latin jazz music. This is the second CD under his own name. However Davies has appeared on more than 100 recordings with such bands as Wayne Gorbea's Salsa Picante.

The release party, co-sponsored by Seven Days, will feature a concert by Davies' Latin jazz sextet, Jazzismo, as well as special guests David Grippo, on the saxophone; Alejandro Torrens and Abigail Sperry, from the salsa/meringue band, Sabor; and members of the University of Vermont Jazz Ensemble.

"It's going to be good," said Davies. "The Flynn is the premier performing arts center in the area, and it's a good showcase."

Davies was awarded a SUNY Plattsburgh Presidential Research Award in 2004 to work on the CD. Presidential Research Awards support faculty who wish to design projects and programs that will enhance their growth as scholars.

"These awards allow the faculty to do what we love to do," said Davies. "I was thinking about doing this CD for awhile, and the Presidential Research Award put that into high gear. The award allows you to be more ambitious and to work on a project with a greater scope."

Davies, an accomplished trombonist and composer, remains very active as a performer. In the past few years, he has traveled and played in Australia, England, Hungary and Tokyo, to name a few. Originally from Albuquerque, N.M., Davies moved to New York City in the 1970s before joining the SUNY Plattsburgh faculty in 2000. He received his doctorate from New York University, his master's from Lehman College (CUNY) and his bachelor's degree from the University of New Mexico.

In May 2003, his book, Trompeta: Chappottin, Chocolate, and the Afro-Cuban Trumpet Tradition , was released by Scarecrow Press. Davies also contributed a chapter on Cuban trumpeter Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros for the book, Music From Cuba , edited by Charley Gerard and released in May 2001 by Praeger Press.

Davies is at the forefront of the salsa dura movement and has performed with scores of Latin groups and artists, including Manny Oquendo and Libre, Johnny Colon, Tito Puente and Arturo O'Farrill.

"Salsa dura literally means 'hard' salsa. It is the more traditional salsa music, going back to old school salsa," said Davies. "In the late '90s, there was a resurgence of salsa dura music, led by Wayne Gorbea. And since I was his musical director, I did a lot of song writing in the salsa dura style. It's more swingy, harder."

Davies is looking forward to the CD release party at the Flynn Center in the Flynn Space, which begins at 8 p.m., with tickets $16 for adults and $12 for students.

"This is a great opportunity to see local musicians playing Latin music," said Davies. "The concert is a nice way to present the CD at a live event. My mandate: to bring more Latin music to the North Country."

For more information on the Feb. 17 concert, visit the Flynn Center's Website at http://www.flynncenter.org/show_pages/FSJ6S.aspx

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