- About Margaret Slovak's recent release, 'New Wings:' This new CD features eleven of Margaret's jazz/classical compositions, plus a standard jazz ballad and a song by Brazilian guitarist Egberto Gismonti. Five pieces are for solo guitar, and eight songs are performed by three different instrumental duos. The duos pair Slovak's nylon-string and electric guitars with steel-string guitarist Doug Smith, acoustic bassist Dave Captein, and jazz pianist George Mitchell. Margaret's original acrylic painting appears on the cover of the CD, and one of her pastel drawings appears inside the CD insert; the artwork corresponds to two of her musical pieces. Many of Margaret's compositions on this CD reflect her experiences playing music for patients in ICU, oncology, and trauma units in several Portland area hospitals, and also at the Hopewell House Hospice Center. Margaret originally started to work on this CD in late November, 2002. However, she was involved in a car accident in early January, 2003, and sustained neck, back, arm, shoulder, and nerve injuries, which affected the function of her right hand. After two years of intense physical therapy and a process of adapting her technique, Margaret has regained about 70% of her right hand use. She was able to resume the recording of this disc in June, 2004; the CD was completed shortly before Christmas Day, 2004. The title cut and the cover painting, 'New Wings,' were created during the first year of her recovery from the car accident, and reflect the spirit of seeking 'silver linings and new beginnings.' MARGARET SLOVAK - Biography Originally from Denver, Colorado, Margaret Slovak is a guitarist, composer and painter. She began playing the guitar at the age of 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 scholarships for her schooling. She has studied with renowned musicians 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 in clubs and cafes. 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 material and performed with the Peruvian 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, performing with a jazz quintet and also as a solo artist. She currently performs in Portland, Seattle and California as a soloist, in duos, trios, and with her quartet. Margaret also performs therapeutic music for patients at Good Samaritan Hospital, Emanuel Hospital, OHSU Hospital and Hopewell House Hospice Center in Portland. She is also a painter, and creates images which reflect her musical compositions. Margaret often presents solo concerts in which her paintings are displayed on stage while she performs her corresponding musical compositions. 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. In June, 1998, Margaret released her first CD, Undying Hope, which features her solo guitar compositions; this CD is currently receiving national radio airplay. Her second CD of original solos and duos, New Wings, was released in February, 2005. Both CD covers also feature Margaret's artwork. In addition, one of her compositions, as performed with her quartet, (which includes Fred Hersch on piano), is included on a compilation CD entitled Proximity, which was released by 21 Cent Records in May, 1998. Margaret also appears on a 2001 compilation CD series, Sundays at Central, which contains one of her compositions in a duet with guitarist Doug Smith. She teaches guitar and theory privately, and is an adjunct faculty member of Marylhurst University and Portland Community College. In addition, Margaret has been the recipient of ten grants from Portland's Regional Arts and Culture Council from 1995 - 2004. - Margaret Slovak - quotes about her music: 'Margaret Slovak's music is a complete statement. Beautiful guitar playing and deeply personal and resonant original compositions. The biggest compliment I can pay her is that her CD stayed in my CD changer for a long time.' - Pianist/composer KENNY WERNER '...the best example of feminine fretwork since Emily Remler...if Bill Evans played guitar, he'd probably sound like Slovak, which gives you an idea of how good she is.' - Dave McElfresh, CADENCE REVIEW 'I hope this album will move you as it moved me. Margaret's pieces, as well as her paintings, have a beautiful simplicity which really affected me.' -Trumpeter/composer KENNY WHEELER 'Margaret is a very talented guitarist with a lyrical approach and a wonderful sense of sound and tone - highly recommended.' - Saxophonist/composer DAVE LIEBMAN 'Margaret's songs and solos have a distinctive melodic and lyrical style, that will draw you in and open your ears.' - Guitarist/composer JOHN ABERCROMBIE 'Her playing is gorgeous, inventive, warm and thoughtful. Margaret Slovak is a gifted musician.' - JAZZSCENE, Portland, Oregon 'Her music is compelling...there is coherence in both forms of her artistic expression, a unity of feeling that results from a calm determination to pursue a highly personal vision.' - OREGONIAN, Portland, Oregon 'Slovak seems to be gaining in depth every time we hear her, and her solo guitar work blends the spare beauty of Kenny Burrell or Jim Hall with the thoughtful chromatics of Ralph Towner.' - WILLAMETTE WEEK, Portland, Oregon 'Slovak has a silky, fluid guitar style that is perfect for her classical-meets-jazz compositions.' - SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, Seattle, Washington 'Slovak? Lyrical, elegant lines on electric guitar, gorgeous sound on classical guitar.' - PROVINCE PREVIEW, Vancouver, BC., Canada 'The instrumental work of Margaret Slovak is rich and expressive; she has a genuine talent and distinctive voice.' - C. Beeson, ANODYNE MAGAZINE.