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Born and raised outside Philadelphia, PA, Ric Becker was exposed early on to many diverse styles of music ranging from downtown jazz jams to local punk/ska bands. Though he picked up the trombone in order to join the local youth orchestra, the instrument has since taken him in many directions. Esteemed for his strong solos and section playing, Ric is a versatile player who is equally comfortable in jazz, classical, and rock idioms.

In 2004 he moved to New York City to study at the Mannes College of Music under the tutelage of David Finlayson and David Taylor. While at Mannes, Ric continued to explore more types of music, and was soon playing regularly in clubs in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. As a member of Reverend Billy’s Not Buying it Band, he toured the US for the feature documentary “What Would Jesus Buy” (dir. Morgan Spurloch) in addition to a twelve month residency at the Highline Ballroom. Following his graduation in 2008, he continued to branch out, performing at the Verona Jazz Festival with Bobby Sanabria’s Afrocuban Orchestra and touring the US and South America with ska legends The Toasters. Ric currently tours several times a year as a member of The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble and the experimental psychomambo big-band Gato Loco Coconino, playing clubs and major festivals around Europe and the Americas. He also performs frequently in and around New York City with Amour Obscur, a rising star in NYC’s underground nightlife.

Ric maintains an active freelance career, and has performed and recorded with many esteemed musical artists including The Easy Star All-Stars, Candido Camero, Otto-Werner Mueller, Larry McDonald, Bobby Sanabria, members of Beirut, members of Burning Spear and Toots and the Maytals, The Toasters, Wakey Wakey!, Elizabeth and the Catapult, and many more. Performance highlights include Carnegie Hall (New York), VPRO Jazz Live (Amsterdam), the Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival (Spain), the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), and Banlieus Bleues Festival (Paris). As a composer and bandleader, Ric works with his contemporary rock-ensemble Just Puppets, as well as a new collaboration with trumpeter Jackie Coleman, exploring the fusion of reggae, dub, soul, and funk styles.

When not working on musical projects, hobbies include cooking, graphic and web design, and traveling. Ric currently resides in Flatbush, Brooklyn. For more information on projects and upcoming performances, please visit the Bands and Gigs pages.