Originally from Chicago and classically trained, Myra Melford is a composer with a singular, kinetic, and lyrical voice in piano improvisation. Chicago blues, architecture, jazz, and experimental music inspire her work. She has released over 40 recordings, including 20 as a leader or co-leader, and maintains three bands: the celebrated quintet Snowy Egret, the collective Trio M, and the duo Dialogue with clarinetist Ben Goldberg. She is a Guggenheim Fellow for “Language of Dreams,” (2013), a Doris Duke Performing Artist (2013) an Alpert Award in the Arts recipient (2012), and has been honored numerous times in Down Beat Critic’s polls. She was the Artistic Director and Co-curator for the 2015 New Frequencies Fest: Jazz@YBCA in San Francisco, and has been a professor at UC Berkeley since 2004, teaching classes in improvisational practices and composition.
Recent projects include Snowy Egret (Enja/Yellowbird), her latest quintet recording released in spring 2015 and Life Carries Me This Way (Firehouse 12, 2013), a solo piano recording featuring original compositions based on the drawings of Don Reich. She presented a 25-year retrospective of her work at The Stone, in New York City, in March 2015.
New and upcoming recordings include a duet with Ben Goldberg (released in January 2016), a duet with Allison Miller due out in fall of 2016, a trio with Miya Masaoka and Zeena Parkins, and a trio with Nicole Mitchell and Joelle Leandre.
In March 2016, she will present Snowy Egret for a week at the Village Vanguard in New York City. In May/June 2016, she will be in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, developing “Dissonant Futures,” a piece for piano, prepared piano, electronics and video with Ian Winters.