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Simply Christmas
Times 7
Rhev 21

Dan Beckett’s style is not easily categorized into a single genre. The best description might be: Classical technique with Jazz voicings set to Pop-Rock forms. If you happened to leave a few CDs on the dashboard of your car on a hot summer day…a selection from Chopin, a disc from Acoustic Alchemy, an instrumental piece from Elton John…if those discs melted together, you’d begin to get an idea of what Beckett’s music is like.

Dan composing at his piano in Plymouth MI
Dan composing at his piano in Plymouth MI

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For some, the hopeful melancholy piano compositions suggest David Lanz or Yanni, although the infusion of Gospel and Jazz voicings discourages direct comparison to New Age artists. For others, the intense emotive style of play evokes the classical influence of Chopin, while modern Pop-Rock forms keep the music accessible and unpretentious. Regardless of perceived influences, many have commented that Beckett’s music is quite simply peaceful and relaxing. When you hear it, one thing is certain: you are listening to a man who is passionate about making music on acoustic piano.

In 2007, Beckett released a self-published CD entitled “Simply Christmas” that captures his arrangements of favorite Christmas carols and standards. It highlights Beckett’s characteristic piano stylings accompanied by a handful of Detroit-area vocalists and instrumentalists. “Simply Christmas” was the follow up to a limited-release self-published CD entitled “Simplicitude”, the first in a planned series of recordings featuring original compositions and performances for acoustic piano. “Simplicitude” is currently being remastered and is scheduled for a broader release in mid-2008. Four previously unreleased projects (“Antememoria”, “Audiolusion”, “withinsideout”, and “Acoustiphoria”) will follow, cataloguing the complete body of Beckett’s solo piano compositions to date.
Beckett has a long history of composing, arranging, performing and producing for aspiring singer/songwriters, including Men of Grace, Emily Danielson, Calvin Thompson and Jim Barber. He produced three full length recordings while a member of Detroit-area Christian rock bands Times 7 and Rhev21, opening for national recording artists such as Small Town Poets, Geoff Moore, The Sparks, Russ Taff, and others. He is also active in his community, providing Music Therapy outreaches to various health care systems, performing benefit concerts and donation campaigns for Cancer Awareness, serving on the inaugural Canton Arts Commission in 2005, and producing recordings for the Plymouth Canton Educational Park music program.

Beckett resides in Plymouth MI, about halfway between Ann Arbor and Detroit. He currently serves as the pianist and band coordinator for Woodlawn Church, a non-denominational interfaith church in Royal Oak MI featuring contemporary worship music. In addition to hammering away on acoustic piano, he also has been known to lay down the occasional Hammond B3 organ riff, as well as wailing sax leads. A self-taught musician, Beckett has a degree in English from Oakland University, and works vocationally as an Information Security specialist.

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