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The Skip Wilkins Quartet will make a return engagement at The Deer Head Inn in Delaware Water Gap for a concert 8 p.m.-midnight Friday.

The ensemble features Skip Wilkins, piano; Andrew Rathbun, saxophone; Roy Cumming, bass; and Gary Rissmiller, drums. Wilkins, assistant professor of music at Lafayette, brought the quartet to the Williams Center for the Arts for a free concert March 21.

Wilkins plays regularly at Blue Orchid Inn in Mertztown, Pa., including a concert last week. For more than 25 years, he has enjoyed performing with many accomplished musicians, including saxophonists David Liebman, Stanley Turrentine, Bobby Watson, and Plas Johnson; vocalist Mark Murphy; trumpeters Clark Terry and Conte Candoli; trombonist Al Grey; bassist Milt Hinton; drummers Bob Moses, Joe Hunt, and Peter Erskine; and flutist Jill Allen. Recently, he has played at Lehigh Valley venues such as Easton's Café Aaron and far beyond.

In 2001, Wilkins and Allen released Petty Theft on Cathexis Records. Featuring the Wilkins & Allen Quartet and Grammy-nominated saxophonist David Liebman, the CD received significant airplay and positive reviews nationwide. It received a three-star review from Karl Stark in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Previously, Wilkins & Allen released Two Much Fun! on Eaglear Records. Some of their highlight performances together include New York's Tavern on the Green and The Wichita Jazz Festival, and tours around the United States.

Wilkins teaches courses in music theory and jazz at Lafayette. Previously, he taught at the University of Northern Colorado, spending many of his eight years there in the nationally acclaimed Jazz Studies program. He earned a bachelor's degree from College of the Holy Cross and a master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He also studied jazz composition and arrangement with Herb Pomeroy at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and is a former faculty member at Berklee.

Wilkins is a 2001 fellowship recipient from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, receiving an award for excellence in jazz composition. Many of the compositions for which he was recognized are included on Petty Theft.

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