Shenandoah Conservatory has appointed Mark G. Meadows, G.P.D., as adjunct assistant professor of jazz beginning August 2017. Meadows will serve as the sabbatical replacement for Harrison Endowed Chair in Piano and Associate Professor of Jazz Piano Robert Larson ’08, D.M.A., teaching jazz piano majors and jazz repertoire and collaborating with Shenandoah Conservatory faculty and staff.
“I’m thrilled to have Mark joining our conservatory community, and see him working with our students and faculty colleagues in this sabbatical replacement role,” said Shenandoah Conservatory Dean and Professor of Music Michael Stepniak, Ed.D. “Beyond being one of the most versatile and sought after jazz pianists and collaborators in the D.C. area, Mark brings an unusual combination of exceptional creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for connecting with students and listeners.”
“When adding a new member to the jazz faculty at Shenandoah Conservatory, we want to find an individual who is extremely versatile, with a broad background in the arts along with extensive performance experience,” said Dr. Larson. “Mark represents the type of musician that can truly ‘make it’ in today’s competitive artistic environment. He’s a fantastic jazz musician, great singer, composer, and role model of how to manage a career. His ability as an actor, represented by his role in ‘Jelly’s Last Jam,’ makes him even more valuable to our diverse community of artists at Shenandoah.”
Increasingly in demand around the globe, Meadows has performed alongside world-renowned artists, including Bobby McFerrin, Kendrick Lamar, Renee Fleming, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling and Warren Wolf. He has headlined at premier venues, including Jazz at Lincoln Center and Smalls Jazz Club in New York City; Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, The Warner Theatre and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; and the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland.
Meadows has recorded three albums that blend the sounds of pop, gospel, R&B, hip hop, funk and jazz. His most recent album, “To the People” (2016), was awarded Album of the Year by Capitol Bop in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. His other albums include “Somethin’ Good” (2013) and “A Child is Born” (2007).
Meadows was awarded Composer of the Year in 2017 and Artist of the Year in 2015 by Washington City Paper. He was featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest 2017’s Tumblr in a video of “Stay Woke,” a work from Meadow’s most recent album. Meadows also served as an artist-in-residence at Strathmore in North Bethesda, Maryland, in 2014.
In August 2016, Meadows made his acting debut as the titular role in the Washington, D.C., premiere of the hit Broadway musical “Jelly’s Last Jam” at the Signature Theatre. The production itself received 10 Helen Hayes Award nominations earlier this year.
Meadows also currently teaches at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., where he directs and arranges for the Mellow Tones, a student jazz vocal ensemble featured on “To The People.” Meadows and the Mellow Tones in 2016 opened up for Kendrick Lamar and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, and also opened for acclaimed jazz musician Kurt Elling at The Hamilton Live.
After graduating from the famed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas, Meadows went on to earn two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and jazz piano from Johns Hopkins University. He went on to earn a Graduate Performance Diploma in Jazz Piano from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.