Biography

pianoJazz pianist, composer, recording artist Bunny Beck comes from a long line of musicians. Her dad – banjo player and guitarist Larry Sideman had a band that played hotels, aunty was a vaudeville violinist, and granny was an opera singer.

A native New Yorker, Bunny is a graduate of the High School of Music and Art and SUNY Potsdam. As a teenager she was teaching private piano students, both adults and children. Originally trained as a classical pianist starting at age 6, Bunny studied with a range of teachers and feels honored to have been the only child student of renowned concert pianist Selma Kramer. Ultimately Bunny realized that jazz was her passion, so she sought out jazz mentors. She studied with the superb performer, composer, arranger Lee Evans, brilliant pianist Fernando Hernandez, and with jazz piano legend Harold Mabern.

In 2002 Bunny had the unique opportunity to study and play in Cuba with Reinaldo Gomez Ruiz and his band, “Gens”, and in 2013 studied in Rio de Janeiro and played jazz clubs there.

STYLE

An ardent admirer of many great jazz pianists, Bunny gravitates most toward the sound of Bud Powell, Wynton Kelly and Sonny Clark. Bunny’s piano jazz style has been noted for “its distinctive, warm, rich sound” Her technique is “fluid, smooth and brings clarity to every note.” Her playing has been called “sweet and strong, innovative, lyrical, and definitely swinging!” Her broad repertoire includes the standards typical of Porter, Gershwin, Rogers and Hart, Ellington and Strayhorn works, and the harmonic genre and technically intricate music of jazz and blues greats such as Bud Powell, Miles Davis, JJ Johnson, Horace Silver, Chick Corea, and Mal Waldron.

Bunny’s always exploring new sounds, new musical ideas which continually inspire her performance and composition creativity. Discography (see Music page) includes Sound Tapestries and From the Spirit released by PARMA Recordings on their Big Round label. Bunny’s most recent works were recorded in Cuba in 2015 on “ABRAZO”, PARMA’s release on their new Ansonica label. This album is a compilation of works by 8 composers. For samples of Abrazo, click on the Ansonica link!

Bunny performs solo and with other musicians, playing in the US and abroad. Professional musician memberships include the American Federation of Musicians – Local 802 and ASCAP. She is also a member and past Board member of International Women in Jazz.