Mary Halvorson

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Mary Halvorson
Mary Halvorson Unterfahrt 2011-01-25-002.jpg
Mary Halvorson with Anti-House in Jazzclub Unterfahrt in Munich/Germany, January 2011
Background information
Born 1980
Genres jazz, free jazz, experimental music, avant-garde jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 2002 - present
Labels Firehouse 12
Associated acts Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant, Marc Ribot's Sun Ship
Notable instruments
1970 Guild Artist Award archtop

Mary Halvorson is an avant-garde jazz guitarist from Brookline, MA currently living in Brooklyn. She is a 2002 graduate of Wesleyan University. She has performed with many artists, including Anthony Braxton, Jessica Pavone, Taylor Ho Bynum and Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant. As of 2008, she leads a trio including John Hebert and Ches Smith.[1][2] She is also associated with violist Jessica Pavone, with whom she has recorded as a duo.'s Troy Collins calls Halvorson "[a] singular talent... 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."[3][4] Jon Garelick of The Phoenix writes, "It's that search for her own thing that's made Halvorson ... one of the most celebrated young guitarists in jazz, someone who has a unique sound both as a player and a composer."[5]

Selected Discography[edit]

  • Six Improvisations For Guitar, Bass and Drums (2003), H&H Productions, as part of MAP
  • Sister Phantom Owl Fish (2004), Ipecac Recordings, as part of Trevor Dunn's Trio-Convulsant with Ches Smith and Trevor Dunn
  • Prairies (2005), Lucky Kitchen with Jessica Pavone
  • People (2005), I & Ear, as part of People with drummer Kevin Shea
  • Sleeps Cells (2006), Utech, as part of MPTHREE with Mike Pride and Trevor Dunn
  • Misbegotten Man (2007), I & Ear, as part of People with Kevin Shea
  • On and Off (2007), Skiri Records with Jessica Pavone on viola
  • Opulence (2008), with composer/multi-instrumentalist Weasel Walter.
  • Dragon's Head (2008), Firehouse 12 Records with Ches Smith and John Hebert (Mary Halvorson Trio)
  • Calling All Portraits (2008), Phantom Sound & Vision label with drummer Ches Smith, Jessica Pavone & bassist Devin Hoff.
  • Thin Air (2009), Thirsty Ear label with Jessica Pavone.
  • (un)sentimental (2009), Important Records, as part of The Thirteenth Assembly with Taylor Ho Bynum, Jessica Pavone and Tomas Fujiwara
  • Crackleknob (2009), Hathut with trumpeter Nate Wooley and bassist Reuben Radding
  • Fever Dream (2010), Taiga Records, as part of MAP with Tatsuya Nakatani and Reuben Radding
  • Saturn Sings (2010), Firehouse 12 Records with Ches Smith, John Hebert, Jonathan Finlayson, and Jon Irabagon
  • "Actionspeak" (2010), 482 Music, as part of Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up
  • Bending Bridges (2012), Firehouse 12 Records
  • Super Eight (2013), Intakt Records with Stephan Crump (Secret Keeper)
  • Illusionary Sea (2013), Firehouse 12 Records with Jonathan Finlayson, Jon Irabagon, Ingrid Laubrock, Jacob Garchik, John Hebert, and Ches Smith
  • Reverse Blue (2014), Relative Pitch Records with Chris Speed, Eivind Opsvik and Tomas Fujiwara
  • 3xaWoman (2014), Telegraph Harp Records with drummer Kevin Shea and bassist Kyle Forester
  • Meltframe (2015), Firehouse 12 Records, solo

Mary Halvorson. Photo Hreinn Gudlaugsson


  1. ^ Mary Halvorson, All About Jazz. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  2. ^ Clean Feed Records and Mary Halvorson: Promises of Good Things to Come in Jazz, Pop Matters. Jazz Today. By Will Layman. February 16, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  3. ^ Mary Halvorson, All About Jazz. By Troy Collins. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  4. ^ A Sharpened Axe to Grind, Online Wall Street Journal. By Steve Dollar. Retrieved May 31, 2012.
  5. ^ Mary Halvorson's EnchantedWood, The Boston Phoenix. By Jon Garelick. p. 1–2. May 31, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012.