Artist Teacher of Piano and Composition
B.M., University of Massachusetts, Amherst (piano, theory/ composition)
Ms. Monsour has been on a path of diverse musical creativity and exploration that has been nourished through a wide variety of experiences in and outside of the educational arena. During her college years, she studied classical piano and also took classes with the legendary jazz drummer, Max Roach and was influenced by other faculty artists such as Archie Shepp and Billy Taylor. Of the many visiting musicians who taught there, she had the pleasure of performing for Oscar Peterson and Sarah Vaughn in their respective Master Classes. Later, while living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Melanie performed and recorded with many well known artists; Ronnie Gilbert (The Weavers), Edward McGee (Tower of Power) and June Millington (Fanny) to name a few. During this time she also played regularly with Dick Oxtot’s Golden Age of Jazz Band and toured nationally with the singing duo, The Washington Sisters. Monsour has worked for the National Dance Institute of New Mexico for fifteen (15) years, providing live piano music for student dance classes throughout the state. She has been involved with the ‘Movements’ of Gurdjieff and the music of Gurdjieff/deHartmann, playing for dance classes and performing the concert repertoire around the world in such locations as Europe, Russia, Chile, South Korea, Greece, Canada, Australia and India. Melanie has released six (6) recordings, four (4) of her original piano music, one of the music of Gurdjieff/deHartmann and one in collaboration with a choreographer based on the nine transcendent personality types of the ‘Enneagram.’ When in Santa Fe she regularly plays solo or with singer Nacha Mendez.