Past Guest Artists
Emerging jazz trombonist Melissa Gardiner has been described by Curtis Fuller as technically creative and emotionally powerful. Her improvisation is inspiring and motivating for the listener, and she draws you in with a raw expression that directly relates to life experience.
Gardiner is the jazz trombone instructor at Cornell and Syracuse University. As a bandleader, she performs regularly with her jazz organ trio, MG3, and has an album entitled Transitions.
Most notably, she has shared the stage with several legendary musicians including Aretha Franklin, Geri Allen, Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Turre, Gerald Wilson, and Patti Austin.
Embodying the concept of artist as citizen, Gardiner aims to re-connect jazz music to the community, and create an environment of mentorship where students and professionals can make music together. In just one year of existence, Second Line Syracuse has built an impressive resume so far, working with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, gaining grant funding for community and educational events, and winning the 2015 Syracuse New Times award for Best Jazz Band.
Gardiner received her master’s degree in jazz performance at The Juilliard School where she studied with Steve Turre. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree at The University of Michigan where she studied with Dennis Wilson(jazz) and David Jackson(classical). Former teachers also include Bill Harris, Curtis Fuller and Wycliffe Gordon.