Meilana McLean Gillard is an exciting, young tenor saxophonist and composer residing in Brooklyn, New york. She enjoys creating music that is not held captive by any particular genre or label and takes full advantage of NYC's vast artistic culture. Most-recently, you can find Meilana performing at various New York city venues like Minton's Playhouse and Sweet Rhythm with such artists as Charli Persip and Tyshawn Sorey. Meilana recently recorded with Joan Osborne ("Breakfast in Bed" 2007 Timelife) and Greg Osby. Look in early 2008 for a record by Charli Persip's Jazz Orchestra "Super Sound" which features an original composition and an arrangement by Gillard for 16 pieces. Gillard leads her own groups "Quintet Nouveau" and "Heartland" and co-leads "Symmetry" with Baritone-Saxophonist, Lauren Sevian(Mingus Big Band). Meilana has been a member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra since 2001. She has performed with artists such as: Lou Rawls, Rene Marie, Johny Mathis, Mary Wilson, Debbie Reynolds, Toni Tennile, Seamus Blake, Benny Rietveld, Jeff "Tain" Watts and Gary Bartz. Gillard was born in London, UK in 1981. She relocated to the miniscule village of Ridgeway, Ohio at a very young age where she began to study music at age 7 and saxophone at age 11. Through her teens she won several awards for her efforts as a jazz soloist. Gillard studied for 2 years at Ohio State University under "Beatles" saxophonist, Gene Walker where she became developed an obsession for composition and arranging. She abandoned her small-town life in pursuit of knowledge and the desire to play with musicians of the highest calibur. Meilana moved to New York City in 2003 and began study at the New School University Jazz Program(class of 2005) where she studied privately with Seamus Blake, George Garzone, Tim Price and Dave Glasser.
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