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Pianist & Composer Myra Melford Receives Three Honors

Solo piano recording due in October

Myra Melford

Pianist/composer Myra Melford has been recognized recently with three distinctive honors. Melford has been named a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow and is the recipient of both a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award and a 2013 Doris Duke Residency to Build Demand for the Arts from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Melford currently leads the quintet Snowy Egret with trumpeter Ron Miles, guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Stomu Takeishi and drummer Tyshawn Sorey; is one-third of the collective Trio M with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Matt Wilson; and performs in the duo ::Dialogue:: with clarinetist Ben Goldberg. Melford will release her first solo piano album in the fall.

Melford is one of 175 scholars, artists and scientists from almost 3,000 applicants to be awarded a 2013 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in the competition’s 89th year. Her fellowship, awarded in the category of Music Composition, will help to fund the premiere of her upcoming project Language of Dreams. According to a press release, “The interdisciplinary work is inspired by Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s Memory of Fire trilogy, a history of the Americas told through indigenous myths and the accounts of European colonizers. The piece will combine music for Melford’s quintet Snowy Egret with narration by a multi-lingual actor, dance by Los Angeles-based choreographer Oguri, and video by Bay Area filmmaker David Szlasa.”

Language of Dreams will premiere in November at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), which will also be the site for Melford’s residency, created by the Doris Duke Artists Residencies to Build Demand for the Arts award. Melford and the YBCA are one of ten teams of performing arts organizations and artists to be granted a combined total of $1.475 million dollars in the award’s first year.

In addition, Melford is one of only 20 artists from the fields of jazz, contemporary dance and theater to be granted the 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, which, says the press release, “is intended to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, multi-year funding in response to financial and funding challenges that are both unique to the performing arts and to each artist.”

Each member of the 2013 class will receive an unrestricted, multi-year cash grant of $225,000, plus as much as $25,000 more in targeted support for audience development and as much as $25,000 more for personal reserves or creative exploration during what are commonly retirement years for most Americans. Artists will be able to access their awards over a three- to five-year period under a schedule set by each recipient.

Myra Melford Tour Dates

July 5 Duende, Oakland, CA (Oliver Lake and Myra Melford)

July 7 Redwood Jazz Alliance, Arcata, CA (Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom)

July 9 Yoshi’s, Oakland, CA (Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom)

July 10 Blue Whale, Los Angeles, CA (Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom)

July 11 The Athanaeum, La Jolla, CA (Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom)

July 12 Stanford Jazz Workshop, Palo Alto, CA (Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom)

August 15 Roulette, Brooklyn, NY (Snowy Egret and Excerpts from Language of Dreams-work-in-progress)

August 24 Americana Music and Art Festival, Florence, CO (Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom)

August 29 San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA (Mark Dresser, Myra Melford and Michael Dessen)

September 6 The Kitano, New York, NY (Trio M)

September 28-29 Dazzle Jazz Club, Denver, CO (Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom)

October 16 SF Jazz, San Francisco, CA (Discover Jazz Workshop with Stomu Takeishi)

October 16 Duende, Oakland, CA (Myra Melford, Ben Goldberg, Stomu Takeishi and Scott Amendola)

November 8-9 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA (Language of Dreams-Premiere Performance)

December 6 Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA (Conduction Concert with J.A. Deane)

December 13 Piedmont Piano Company, Oakland, CA (Solo Piano)

January 30, 2014 The Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA (Solo Piano)

For more information visit Myra Melford.

Originally Published