Genres:New Age, Easy Listening, Classical - Modern/Avant-Garde, Jazz - JazzPop/Light Jazz, Jazz - Bebop/Traditional, Specialty - Soundtrack Alternatives, Specialty - HumanDrama/Emotions, World - Spanish
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Margaret Slovak is a guitarist, composer and painter. She began playing the guitar at age 12, composing at age 14, and performing professionally at age 16. Margaret studied jazz and classical music and visual art, receiving her BFA in jazz studies from the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. She also attended the Kansas City Art Institute, University of Missouri Conservatory of Music, and the Banff Centre Summer Jazz Workshop in Alberta, Canada. Margaret received several music scholarships for her schooling, and studied with such renowned musicians as Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie, Dale Bruning, Gary Peacock, Kenny Wheeler, Art Lande, Hadley Caliman, and Julian Priester.
After graduating from the Cornish College of the Arts in 1986, Margaret spent two years in Denver, performing, studying, and composing. In 1988, she moved to New York City, where she spent five years leading her own band and performing her original music. While in New York, Margaret had the opportunity to perform and record with Fred Hersch, Michael Formanek, Michael Sarin and Joel Weiskopf; she also produced two recordings of her original music and performed with the Peruvian folk/jazz group, “Antara”. In addition, Margaret embarked on several tours of the western United States, and toured through Germany in the fall of 1991. In 1994, Margaret relocated to Portland, Oregon. In the summers of 1994 and 1995, she toured with her group, which included Bob Moses on drums, performing in Portland, Seattle, and British Columbia, Canada. In the fall of 1996, Margaret toured through Germany and the Czech Republic with a quintet. She has also performed extensively throughout Oregon, Washington, Colorado and California as a soloist, and in duos and quartets. In November, 2008, Margaret moved back to the New York city area. In May, 2012, she relocated to Austin, Texas.
In addition to performing in concert settings, schools, clubs, and for private events, Margaret performs therapeutic music for patients in ICU, oncology, neurology, orthopedic, trauma, pediatric and hospice units. She is also a painter, and creates images which reflect her musical compositions; she often presents concerts in which her paintings are displayed on stage while she performs each corresponding music piece. Margaret’s original artwork is also featured on her CD covers.
As a composer and guitarist, Margaret combines elements of jazz with classical and world music, creating a unique and highly personal musical style that is deeply expressive. Margaret’s first CD, “Undying Hope” (1998) features her solo guitar compositions. Her second CD, “New Wings” (2005) contains original solos and duos with bass, piano, and a second guitar. Her third CD, “For the Moment” was released in November, 2007; this disc showcases her original compositions for a jazz quartet which includes Margaret on electric guitar, pianist Fred Hersch, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Michael Sarin.
Margaret’s CD’s are currently receiving extensive national and international radio airplay. She also appears on three compilation CD’s: “Proximity” (1998), “Sundays at Central” (2001) and “Bridges” (2007). In addition, between 1995 - 2007, Margaret was the recipient of eleven grants from Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council for her music and art projects. She also teaches guitar and music theory privately.