Myra Melford

Myra Melford ( born January 5, 1957 in Evans Town, Illinois) is an American jazz pianist and composer -.

Life and work

Melford grew up in Chicago and studied until graduating in 1981, at the Evergreen State College in piano and composition; in addition, she took jazz at Cornish Institute in Seattle and piano pedagogy at the Manhattan School of Music. She also took private lessons with Jaki Byard, Henry Threadgill and Don Pullen. After moving to New York City she performed from 1984 with Butch Morris, Oliver Lake and Leroy Jenkins. 1986 were added solo performances.

In 1990 she founded her trio with Lindsey Horner and Reggie Nicholson, that she later expanded with Dave Douglas and Marty Ehrlich. She also led a major improvisation ensemble The Same River Twice ( eponymous CD, 1996). Furthermore, she played with Fred Frith, Kirk Lightsey, Anne LeBaron, Han Bennink and Marion Brandis, the Soldier String Quartet and their group Crush (including with Kenny Wollesen ). Melford regularly visited Europe and performed at the Moers Festival as well as at the festivals of Leverkusen, Saalfelden, Willisau or Verona.

In 2000, she has worked intensively with the harmonium in a study in northern India. Melford has also worked for various institutions as a lecturer; currently teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1991 she has been repeatedly honored in Kritikerpoll downbeat as an important new talent.

Discography (selection)

  • Alive in the House of Saints (1993 )
  • Even the Sounds Shine ( HatHut Records, 1995)
  • Dance Beyond the Color ( 2000)
  • The Image of Your Body ( Cryptogramophone Records, 2006)
  • The Hole Tree Gone ( Firehouse 12 Records, 2010)
  • Life Carries Me This Way (2013 )