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Skip Wilkins, assistant professor of music, and the Wilkins & Allen Quartet will perform in concert 8 p.m. tonight at the Williams Center for the Arts.

The concert is free and open to the public.

The Wilkins and Allen Quartet features Wilkins, piano; Jill Allen, flute; Roy Cumming, bass; and Glenn Davis, drums. They will perform a program of originals by Wilkins, Allen, and Cumming, and their arrangements of jazz standards.

“This is a project band,” says Wilkins. “These are all musicians who like to get together to play, just to play. The music itself is at the center. Everyone cares about the musicWe get together for sessions even when we don’t have gigs, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to bring the music to the Williams Center.”

Wilkins assisted Allen as she led a jazz flute improvisation workshop yesterday in Williams Center room 123. He performed a program entitled “My Recent Favorites” Jan. 30 at Blue Orchid Inn in Mertztown, Pa. Selections included “Golden Earrings,” “The Night We Called It a Day,” “Everything Happens to Me,” “By Myself,” “Easy Street,” and more. Wilkins will play a program of “Favorite Love Songs” at the Inn Thursday, Feb. 27.

For more than 25 years, Wilkins 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 Allen.

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, including 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 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 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.

Categorized in: Academic News