The success of her acclaimed 2008 debut, Dragon’s Head
(Firehouse 12 Records), led critics to call Ms. Halvorson “probably the most original jazz guitarist to emerge this decade” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader) and “the freshest, busiest, most critically acclaimed guitar-slinger out of downtown Manhattan/Brooklyn right now” (Howard Mandel, Jazz Beyond Jazz).
“A singular talent,” adds AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins, “Brooklyn-based guitarist Mary Halvorson has come into her own as a composer and improviser…light years ahead of her peers, she is the most impressive guitarist of her generation. The future of jazz guitar starts here.”
A veteran of the ensembles of esteemed saxophonist/composer Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. In addition to her trio, which also recently expanded to a quintet, she co-leads a chamber music duo with violist Jessica Pavone and the avant-rock project, People, with drummer Kevin Shea.
She has also performed in ensembles led by Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Trevor Dunn, Curtis Hasselbring, Tony Malaby, Myra Melford, Nicole Mitchell, Jason Moran, Tom Rainey, Marc Ribot, Matana Roberts, Elliott Sharp, John Tchicai and Matthew Welch among many others.
Her latest release is Saturn Sings (Firehouse 12 Records).
Mary Halvorson and her guitar have offered some of the
freshest rainfall on the jazz umbrella. Her compositions
challenge mundane notions of melody and harmony: a true
step forward for the music movement.
--Jason Moran, New York Magazine
Frequently lauded as the most original and innovative guitarist
of her generation, Halvorson's unorthodox virtuosity has
positioned her at the creative forefront of the youthful
Brooklyn scene. Demonstrating growth as a composer on ten
new pieces conceived primarily for her Quintet, Halvorson's
embrace of contrapuntal harmonies and modular structures
reveals a multi-faceted artist whose writing is as impressive
as her improvising.
--Troy Collins, Point of Departure
I think she’s a very interesting musician.
--John Fordham, BBC 3's Jazz on 3
...Halvorson’s is a devastatingly original voice.
--Marcus O'Dair, the artsdesk.com
...one of the most interesting musicians in the contemporary
jazz and improvised music constellation.
--Mike Chamberlain, HOUR
Part of why so many jazz insiders are down with her is clearly
her guitar style