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Beth Baker

The Craterian will be serving a musical showcase of American pop, gospel, jazz, and blues standards when Beth Baker takes the stage for her fourth annual benefit for the Rogue Gallery & Art Center.

Baker's "Soulful, Spiritual & Sassy" concert is slated for 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford. After the show, audiences will have the opportunity to meet with Baker at a party being held at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center. The party will feature food, music, beverages and a chance to win a signed CD.

Joining Baker on stage for this year's concert will be her music arranger, Brent Olstad on piano, Jeff Addicott on bass, and Theresa McCoy on drums. Her backup singers include Val Muse, Laura Grosz, Jade Watt, Karen Barrow, Frank Avila, Brian Fraser, Jim Abdo, and John Contreras.

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center holds a special place in Baker's heart. Her father, Charlie, was a local artist who served on the Rogue Gallery's board of directors before his death in 1999.

Baker herself is a member of the board of directors. She often dedicates a song to her father during her performances because he was her biggest fan.

Baker has performed on stages from New York to San Francisco bringing her own brand of warmth, energy and emotion to the stage. She garnered rave reviews in concert and musical theater in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to New York City in 1996.

She won acclaim for her work as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl" and Sally Adams in "Call Me Madam" and collected Drama-Logue nominations for "Madam" as well as for her role of Luce in "Boys From Syracuse."

In addition to these productions Baker appeared in TheatreWorks and Hillbarn Theater musicals.

In New York City, she quickly became a favored soloist with the Inspirational Choir of Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village and was well-received at the popular cabaret venues Don't Tell Mama, Danny's, and Eighty-eights.

Here in the Rogue Valley, Baker has been seen performing at the Medford Jazz Jubilee and as the opening act for Burt Bacharach and The Smothers Brothers on the Britt Festivals stage. She also has performed at a number of venues in California.

Critics have observed how Baker can blow the roof off the place with a remarkable belt, yet has the rare ability to take a song right down to a whisper, something few singers can accomplish.

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center was founded in 1960 to promote and support the arts in the Rogue Valley. Today it is still the Rogue Valley's only nonprofit community art center.

Aspiring artists young and old take classes from local artists and are exposed to a wide variety of artistic media. The gallery offers local artists an opportunity to display their work.

Every third Friday throughout the year The Rogue Gallery & Art Center joins other downtown galleries and merchants for the Third Friday Art Walk from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. See www.roguegallery.org.

Tickets are available at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater 779-3000. Tickets for the after-concert party are $15 and are available at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center. Call 772-8118.

Beth Baker will perform her fourth annual benefit concert for the Rogue Gallery and Art Center.