Tue March 20, 2018

Myra Melford 'Snowy Egret' (USA)

© Bryan Murray

Myra Melford: piano
Ron Miles: cornet
Liberty Ellman: guitar
Stomu Takeishi: bass
Gerald Cleaver: drums

Pianist and composer Myra Melford’s music is informed by vernacular American musical idioms such as blues, jazz, and Latin dance rhythms, suggesting the music of the Americas while avoiding pastiche.

Snowy Egret, her current working quintet, performs original compositions written specifically for its members: Ron Miles (cornet), Liberty Ellman (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (bass guitar) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). The quintet made its debut in 2012 with concerts in New York and Los Angeles, and in 2013 performed in Paris, Amsterdam, and Brooklyn, NY, leading up to the world premiere of Melford’s multi-media project, Language of the Dreams, in San Francisco in November 2013, with Snowy Egret as its driving musical force. Released on Enja/yellowbird in March 2015, Snowy Egret’s eponymously titled debut album was immediately hailed by The New York Times (“an extremely fine new album”) and The Wall Street Journal (“full of bright, intense rhythms and complex harmonies... lean, lithe and appealing”), among many other praising reviews.

Melford was the recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts for Music in 2012, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Doris Duke Performing Artists Award in 2013. A music professor at U.C. Berkeley since 2004, she is currently an artist-in-residence at YBCA, leading an initiative to increase appreciation of jazz, particularly among women and youth, and to strengthen the Bay Area jazz ecology.