Welcome to the fifth episode of IMC’s weekly BAN BAM podcast, where we explore creative work from inspiration to execution, through conversations with a host of women working in jazz and creative improvised music today.
Our guest on the show today is Meilana Gillard, an impressive tenor saxophonist and composer, originally from Ohio but based in Northern Ireland since 2012.
We talk about her multi-instrumental approach to composing, her early experience of playing in a big band in her Junior High school, the importance of this early influence and the "if you see it, you can be it" mentality that is so importance for young girls and women.
"Gillard is a gutsy, inventive player with a forceful melodic sense and an open, old-school tenor sound." – Cormac Larkin, IRISH TIMES
Ohio-raised saxophonist and composer Meilana Gillard emerged as a rising star on the New York scene while studying at the New School in the early 2000’s. She has worked with U.S. icons Charli Persip, Christian McBride and also Greg Osby, who released her debut album “Day One” on his ‘Inner Circle Music’ label in 2009. In addition she has collaborated with Debbie Reynolds, Glenn Campbell and was instrumental in the New York all-female band DIVA.
Based near Belfast since 2012, she released her second album “Dream Within a Dream” in 2017 on Lyte Records.
She performs as RGB Trio with Kevin Brady and Dave Redmond since 2019.
Improvised Music Company (IMC) is an Irish Arts Council funded resource organisation for Irish and Irish-based jazz musicians, and a specialist promoter of jazz, improvised and ethnic music in Ireland.
BAN BAM is an activity which began in 2017 to develop and support the work of women in jazz and improvised music, particular female instrumentalists and composers which are underrepresented in this genre.
As well as this new podcast series, BAN BAM activities in 2020-21 includes the Commissioning Award from IMC in partnership with Moving On Music. Performances of the new works will be announced later in 2021.
The next BAN BAM Commissions will be awarded in 2022.
Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/imcmusic
Check out lots of great performance and artist resources on our YouTube
@improvisedmusic on Twitter and Instagram
Our podcast theme tune is a track by Irish jazz artist Justin Carroll's Togetherness.