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Tom Beckham

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NYC based vibraphonist and composer since 1994. Studied with Gary Burton, Ed Saindon, Hal Crook at Berklee College of Music, Graduated Cum Laude in 1990. Released first CD “Suspicions” (2000) on Fresh Sound New Talent label featuring Chris Cheek, Reid Anderson, George Schuller. His second release “Center Songs” (2006) on Sunnnyside records featured Chris Cheek, Henry Hey, John Hebert, and Diego Voglino.

Current CD release entitled “Rebound” on Apria Records features Chris Cheek, Henry Hey, Matt Clohesy, and Ferenc Nemeth.

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Born in 1968 in Maryland, Beckham graduated from Boston’s Berklee College of music in 1990 where he studied with Gary Burton, Ed Saindon, Hal Crook, and others. Beckham resides in Brooklyn, NY where he is an active performer and teacher.

As a band leader and composer Beckham has released three CD’s to date: “Suspicions”(Fresh Sound New Talent, 1999) “Center Songs”(Apria, 2006), and the latest, “Rebound” (Apria, 2008). Critics and fans have taken note, describing Beckham as “...a superior conceptualist.”(AMG), playing the instrument with “...a full range of expression.” (Baltimore Magazine), and “...incredibly mature.”(KKJZ). Jazzreview magazine noticed, writing “That’s what makes it work: it feels like a band.” The Village Voice noticed too, writing “The vibraphonist likes to keep an eye on harmonic options when he’s penning intricate pieces for his poised little outfit.” Further summing-up Beckahm’s approach, hit the nail on the head when they wrote “Beckham’s approach is reminiscent of older band leaders like Paul Motian and Chico Hamilton, but Beckham’s work has a sound all its own—which is what jazz is really about.”

As an active sideman for 20 years, Beckham has played in bands led by Ron Horton, Michael Musillami, Leonardo Cioglia, Sam Bardfeld, J. Walter Hawkes, the NYC composers’ group PULSE, Joe Phillips’ Numinous Ensemble, and over the years, appeared in a host of musical settings with musicians such as bassists Matt Penman, Reid Anderson, Gary Wang, Dave Ambrosio, Ben Allison, Matt Pavolka, pianists Ben Waltzer, Henry Hey, Aaron Goldberg, Bryn Roberts, drummers Jochen Ruckert, Dan Weiss, Mark Ferber, Tim Horner, guitarists Ben Monder, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brad Shepik, Tom Guarna, Will Bernard, saxophonists Donny McCaslin, Michael Blake, Bill McHenry, Seamus Blake, Jerome Sabbagh, Tom Christenson, John Ellis, trumpet players Ingrid Jensen, and Russ Johnson, and many others.

He is a member of George Schuller’s Circle Wide, whose 2008 release “Like Before, Somewhat After”(Playscape) has received rave reviews for it’s treatment of Keith Jarrett’s so-called “American Quartet” material in addition to it’s 2004 release “‘Round About Now”(Playscape) which also showed Beckham as a capable sideman. Beckham also is a member of composer Joseph C. Phillips’ Numinous ensemble which performs original ‘new’ music informed by the stylings of Steve Reich and Morton Feldman. He has also performed and recorded as a featured soloist with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) in a series of recordings of Gunther Schuller’s visionary work which was released in June 2008.

An international performer, Tom has performed at the JVC New York, Zurich, Rochester, and Braga jazz festivals, IAJE and Jazz Improv New York festivals; halls such as Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Hammerstein Ballroom, and many NY area clubs such as Smalls, Fat Cat, Birdland, Cornelia Street Cafe, Barbes, Joe’s Pub, and many more.

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