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Erica Kaplan

Erica Kaplan

Erica Kaplan

Assistant Professor, Performing Arts

Cultural Arts Center, Room 7102


Assistant Professor Erica Kaplan has been a member of the Performing Arts Department since 1996, when she was first hired as an adjunct faculty member. She became full-time Instructor in 2012. A protégé of jazz drummer Billy Parker, Kaplan studied additionally with saxophonists Frank Foster of the Count Basie Orchestra and Bobby Watson of the Jazz Messengers. She teaches saxophone and flute in addition to a variety of music classes.

Kaplan has pursued an interest in jazz history, marked early on by a major presentation at New York University on the life and music of pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams. Subsequently, she published work on trombonist and arranger Melba Liston.  Kaplan has lectured on women in jazz at various institutions, including Bronx Museum of the Arts, Columbia University and The New School.

Performing on saxophone and flute, Kaplan has worked for nearly 25 years as bandleader and side woman in concerts, clubs and festivals in New York City and the metropolitan area. Over the years, she has brought world-renowned artists such as saxophonist Harold Ashby of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, violinist Billy Bang and pianist Donald Smith to the College for the African-American History Month series “Billy Parker’s Fourth World Legacy.”


BA Music, SUNY Empire State College, 1985

MA Music, New York University, 1987

Professional Accomplishments

Producer, Bandleader and Performer, “Billy Parker’s Fourth World Legacy,” RCC African-American History Month series


“Melba Liston: It’s All From My Soul,” The Antioch Review, 1999


“The Lady Who Swings The Band: A Performance and Analysis of Six Works by American Pianist, Composer Mary Lou Williams,” New York University, 1987


Performing Arts: