Position: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Jazz
Location: Ruebush Hall, Room 18-C
Employed Since: 2017
Conservatory Professional Highlights:
Acclaimed jazz composer, pianist, vocalist, collaborator, recording artist, teacher—and now actor—Mark G. Meadows is a man on a mission: to create a unifying sound that breaks through social barriers. There’s something for everyone in his music, which harmonizes pop, gospel, R&B, hip hop, funk, and jazz. With his lyrics, suffused with meaning, and his velvet voice, Meadows cuts through the noise to speak to all. Debonair on the stage, he is also an entertainer of the highest caliber.
The son of a gospel and jazz vocalist, Meadows—who released his third studio album, “To the People,” in 2016—began his musical odyssey at the age of three with the gift of a toy keyboard. At age five, he started formal piano lessons under the tutelage of renowned Russian classical pianist and pedagogue Rosalie LeVant. Then, at age 13, he expanded his training to include jazz piano with the equally renowned Julie Bonk.
Meadows’s formative years were short, beginning to draw attention for his artistry while still a teenager. DownBeat magazine twice awarded Meadows honors for his work, first in 2007, dubbing his song “Groovalicious” 2nd Best Pop Rock Composition in North America. In 2008, Downbeat named his performance of “In The Groove” Best Pop Rock Solo in North America.
After graduating from the famed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Meadows went on to earn two bachelor’s degrees in psychology and jazz piano from Johns Hopkins University. Afterwards, he decided to focus on music for the first time, and went on to earn a master’s degree in jazz piano from the prestigious Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland.
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 is also an adjunct instructor at Shenandoah Conservatory and 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.
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.
Meadows uses his artistry to bring forth a positive message of love, joy, and hope to his audiences.
B.A., B.M., Johns Hopkins University; Graduate Performance Diploma, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University
- “Best Composer” and “Recording of the Year” — Washington City Paper, 2016
- “2nd Best DC Jazz Album of 2016” — CapitalBop, 2016
- “Tight and poised hitting the keys of Jelly Roll Morton’s intricate compositions and singing Susan Birckenhead’s pointed lyrics, Meadows is pure jazz nirvana.” – DC Theater Scene, 2016
- Meadows “fuses the tradition of jazz with the sounds of today in a very musical and entertaining way that is certainly worth the listen” — JazzTimes, 2015
- “Artist of the Year” and “Composer of the Year”— Washington City Paper, 2014
- Meadows’s writing is “outstanding and his compositions fresh”— All About Jazz, 2014
- Meadows “has a level of creativity that will define him amongst others in his generation”— Cyrus Chestnut, jazz pianist
From the moment I first visited Shenandoah’s campus, I felt a strong since of community and respect amongst the students and faculty. At Shenandoah, you can pursue your passion with confidence knowing that everyone around you is in full support of cultivating your career, together.