Patrick Beckman's works for piano consist of a synthesis of our American musical vocabularies combined with a fusion of older European structural models. With an emphasis on both rhythmic and melodic development that the listener can really follow, Mr. Beckman is able to utilize the language of blues, jazz, gospel, folk, R & B and rock in larger forms geared for the modern concert listener.
He has received critical acclaim for a number of his CD's: "Street Dance" (MMC Recordings) - "The craftsmanship is remarkable and Beckman has the chops to bring it all off". (GRAMMOPHONE). "Beckman's pianism is excellent - rhythmically astute and atmospheric in the best of ways" (FANFARE). "Big Muddy Suite" (with Grammy award winner Richard Stoltzman, Clarinet). '' Irresistibly swining suite that blends, jazz, R & B, classical and boogie-woogie in a marvelously melodic mix. The music's the thing and it's a joy!" (HOME THEATRE HI-FI); "Instantly appealing work fusing jazz and contemporary music language". (MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL).
Using the languages of our time Mr. Beckman's music is both accessible and challenging. In addition to the above mentioned CD's he has also recorded for Contemporary Music Society of Philadelphia (1st piano sonata). Con Brio Recordings (American Scenes Vol. I; American Scenes Vol. II) and smaller labels in the Midwest. His chorale works include the "Mass in memory of Thomas Merton" - 1st performed at the Salzburg Cathedral and the "Easter Mass" - 1st performed at the Vatican.
Patrick Beckman received his M.M. and B.M. degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana. While there he studied with Soulima Stravinsky, Kenneth Drake, Ron Elliston, Claire Richards and Dean Sanders. He was also Music Director of the Station Theater in Urbana, an off-campus organization for which he composed music for avant-garde theatre, dance and musical groups. In addition to his academic and off-campus activities, he also performed with various R&B groups from Chicago and worked as a studio musician in various studios.
After graduating, he became Artist-in-Residence for Highland College in northwest Illinois where he later became Chairman of the Music Department. He has also taught at the University of Illinois and Rockford College and Aquin High School.
The Big Muddy Suite is a celebration of the various musics of the Mississippi Basin, while through-written, it evolved in the studio to a great degree because of Richard Stoltzman, whose proficiency in a myriad of musical languages brought the work to life." -Patrick Beckman
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From Chicago to Miami, Patrick Beckman captures the essence of five American cities in an easy, mature style. An array of New Age, Funky Contemporary, and Lyrical Jazz, this CD takes the listener through the great cities of the eastern US. Every piece is different, just as each city has its unique character.
Beckman has captured the essence through complex rhythm, unexpected twists of harmony, and dynamic contrasts of mood. Experience the New York nightclubs, relaxed misty countryside around Nashville, the mysterious calypso influence of the Caribbean in Miami. This is a masterful recording of jazz piano solos.
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From Motown to Memphis, the listener is treated to a unique, fascinating image of Americana in sound. Patrick Beckman is a master of the jazzy, easy listening piano style that appeals to the listener seeking the unusual but pleasurable. These two CDs, American Scenes, Volumes 1 & 2, represent Patrick Beckman as a mature and technically accomplished pianist and composer. An array of New Age, Funky Contemporary, and Lyrical Jazz, this CD takes the listener through the great cities of the eastern US. Every piece is different, just as each city has its unique character.
Beckman has captures the essence through complex rhythm, unexpected twists of harmony, and dynamic contrasts of mood. From the simple, restful introspective of Appalachian Song, to the hard-hitting, dynamic Motown, the listener cruises through a cornucopia of new jazz that encompasses the entire keyboard. Beckman lets the listener taste every flavor; his "Homage To Franz Schubert" is Schubert with a twist of lime.
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The pieces were recorded on August 1st, 1997 at the Monroe Arts Center in Monroe, Wisconsin.