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"Karen Becker and Friends" Concert Oct. 14

PLATTSBURGH, NY — A talented group of instrumentalists will present a night of unforgettable piano and jazz music at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, Hawkins Hall.

Dr. Karen Becker, assistant professor of music and pianist, will be joined on stage by fellow music faculty members Dr. Rick Davies, trombonist; Ellen Powell, bassist; Gabe Jarrett, drummer; Herm Matlock, trumpeter; and Michael Fratino, guitarist. The concert is free and open to the public.

The first half of the program will include solo piano performances by Becker, which will include two of the four Ballades by Chopin and the "Tempest" piano sonata by L.V. Beethoven. The second half will feature Becker and Davies leading the SUNY Plattsburgh Faculty Jazz Quintet. 


Last year, Becker presented the inaugural season of her recital series "Karen Becker and Friends." She has appeared as a soloist with the Champlain Valley Oratorio Society and served as music director of the College's production of "Urinetown: the Musical." 

This past summer, Becker served as music director for the summer stock theater season at the Lake Dillon Theater in Colorado, conducting performances of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," "Once on this Island" and "Gypsy." 

Becker holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School and a D.M.A. from the University of Wisconsin where she was a student of Van Cliburn medal winner, Christopher Taylor.

In New York City, after receiving her master's degree from Juilliard, Becker worked as pianist for the American Opera Project at the New York City Opera, piano soloist for the Summergarden series at the Museum of Modern Art and as a keyboard player in the Phillip Glass Ensemble.

Davies, originally from Albuquerque, N.M., moved to New York City in the late 1970s and worked as a musician for more than 20 years. He received his doctorate from New York University in 1999and joined the faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2000.  Davies has primarily focused his creative efforts in the areas of salsa, Latin jazz and Afro-Caribbean music.

For more than a decade, Davies was the musical director of Wayne Gorbea's Salsa Picante, performing, composing and arranging works for the group's popular recordings. He is currently the leader of the Burlington, Vt.-based Latin jazz band, Jazzismo, and recently released his second album of original compositions, Siempre Salsa

As a scholar, Davies has written several monographs, chapters and articles about Afro-Cuban music and salsa.  His book, Trompeta: Chappott�n, Chocolate, and Afro-Cuban Trumpet Style , was released in May 2003 by Scarecrow Press.  He contributed a chapter on Alfredo "Chocolate" Armenteros to Music from Cuba (Praeger Press, 2001). 

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