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Margaret Slovak: News

Gratitude - latest update! - May 2, 2016

Today I realized that it has been 30 years to the day since I received my BFA in Music from the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington! Even though I have now been playing for 43 years (since age 11), the receipt of my music degree on May 2nd, 1986 launched me onto a path as a professional musician. It has been a very interesting, challenging and rewarding path indeed!

I am also filled with gratitude for the fact that I am still able to play and make my living (albeit humble) as a musician! I am forever in debt to my wonderful NYC surgeon, Dr. Steve K. Lee, who performed 6 of my 8 surgeries to repair damage to my right hand, arm, shoulder and brachial plexus due to a MVA in 2003 in Portland, Oregon. Over a period of 9 years, Dr. Lee, himself a guitarist, patiently diagnosed and repaired my injuries. My most recent surgeries were in 2014: a brachial plexus nerve repair and a right wrist nerve repair. Dr. Lee was assisted by the amazing Dr. Darren Schneider in the July 2014 brachial plexus surgery.

After 8 surgeries and 100's of physical and occupational therapy sessions, I have regained about 75% of my right hand function; I continue to improve every month. I still use adaptive devices and techniques, but I am able to play 6 - 8 hours per day, and I do an average of 8 - 10 gigs per week between cancer centers, nursing homes, memory care units, hospice, restaurants, art galleries, and private parties. In addition to my solo work, I am also starting to play with other musicians again. I hope to begin playing concerts and return to recording and touring again soon. It has been a long road to recovery, but the experience has been rich and profound.

I am also deeply appreciative for the incredible support I have received from my dear boyfriend, Brad Buchholz (a wonderful writer of words), who has been on his own healing journey due to a cancer diagnosis in 2010; he is doing well too! In addition, I thank my family, friends, teachers, mentors. fellow musicians, and all of the other doctors, nurses and physical therapists that have helped and uplifted me! I am composing new music again, and hope to record and release my 4th CD sometime in the next 18 months.

Thank you; much love to you all!

Margaret performs in Senior Care Centers and Oncology Treatment Centers in Austin, TX! - November 10, 2013

Since moving In Austin in 2012, Margaret has been performing for residents and patients in Senior Care Centers, Oncology Treatment Centers, Hospice, and in other public and private venues. Some of her healthcare performances are sponsored by two wonderful Austin-based nonprofit organizations, Symphony of Soul and Swan Songs. For more information, please visit their websites, www.symphonyofsoul.org, and www.SwanSongs.org. You can also sponsor some of Margaret's musical performances in these healthcare settings through Symphony of Soul, and receive a tax deduction for your donation!

Margaret's CD's now available at Waterloo Records in Austin, TX! - July 11, 2013

Margaret's three CD's are now available for purchase at Waterloo Records in Austin, TX, located at 600-A North Lamar Boulevard! Waterloo is a wonderful store, with an excellent, informed and friendly staff! Support your local "record" store! Check out Margaret's artist page on their website at http://www.waterloorecords.com/Artist/1080183. Margaret's CD's are also available through this website (see "CD's/Prints/Lessons" in the tool bar.) Thank you!

Gyspy Caravan Heads West! - October 15, 2012

Guitarist Margaret Slovak recently relocated to Austin, Texas! Margaret actually has 1/8 Gypsy heritage; her great grandmother was an authentic wandering Spanish Gypsy! Thus the need to move the caravan every so often, roaming the earth to share her music and staying up until the "Wee Small Hours of the Morning" playing her guitar and composing new music! She is beginning to perform publicly and teach guitar lessons in the Austin area and throughout Texas. Margaret is healing from her 6 corrective right hand and arm surgeries, coming up with new adaptive techniques and devices, and continuing to compose music for CD #4!

Believe or not..... - July 17, 2011

Margaret underwent surgery #6 on June 1st, 2011, in NYC at NYU hospital. Her incredible guitar-playing surgeon, Dr. Steve K. Lee, who performed Margaret's previous three arm and elbow surgeries, reconstructed the injured extensor tendon attachments and corrected scar tissue problems in her right hand. A tendon from Margaret's arm was used for the reconstruction, making it a kind of "Tommy John" surgery of the hand! Margaret is recovering well and undergoing intensive hand therapy; she has slowly started to play the guitar again, and began playing for hospice patients at Jansen Hospice this past week. As she regains strength and agility in her hand, Margaret hopes to return to public playing by the late fall. She is also composing music for CD #4!

Here we go again! - January 9, 2011

Margaret had another surgery on her right arm on December 22nd, 2010, also at NYU Hospital in NYC. This makes 5 surgeries now, with 3 of them performed in 2010! It appears that everything is finally fixed. She is recovering well and is beginning yet another round of hand/arm therapy. Margaret has returned to playing for hospice patients in the New York area, and hopes to return to doing more public performances by March, 2011. She remains ever hopeful that eventually she will regain most of her right hand function.

Once more, from the top.... - July 6, 2010

Margaret is healing well from the surgery that she had in February to repair a nerve injury in her right elbow. On July 7th, she will have one more surgery on another nerve in the same arm. Margaret's surgeon at NYU (who is also a guitarist!) is optimistic that these two surgeries will restore more of the function of her right hand. Margaret hopes to return to performing by late September, 2010. In the meantime, she continues to compose, practice and teach.

March 2010 - Hopeful News! - March 3, 2010

In late February, 2010, Margaret underwent a third surgery, this time on her right arm/elbow, to correct nerve problems that affect the function of her right hand. The surgery was performed at NYU Hospital in NYC by a top NY surgeon, and was very successful! Margaret is currently undergoing physical therapy, and hopes to return to performing by June, 2010.

Margaret's music takes to the air! - October 3, 2009

Selections from Margaret's CD's can now be heard on the in-flight music systems on JetBlue, Frontier, Air Tran, and Express Jet airlines! Look for channel 72 on Sirius/XM satellite radio on your in-flight system.

Margaret interviewed on WomensRadio.com! - May 10, 2009

Margaret was interviewed in late March, 2009 by Brian Ball, Director of Music & Talent, on www.WomensRadio.com, a wonderful online radio station, media and education network.

Margaret's music featured on NPR's "Morning Edition" Program! - April 14, 2009

Musical excerpts from some of Margaret's CD's are being used as interlude music in between program segments on NPR's morning news program, "Morning Edition", beginning on April 8th, 2009!

January 2009 Update - January 3, 2009

Margaret relocated to the New York City area in November, 2008. She is recovering well from the right hand surgery that she had in August, 2008 to correct the last injuries from a 2003 car accident; she is hoping to return to performing in February, 2009.

Late summer 2008 news - August 21, 2008

Margaret had surgery on her right hand on August 11th to correct the last injuries from the car accident that she had in 2003. The surgery went very well, and Margaret and her doctors are very hopeful for the improvement of the function of her right hand! Margaret is currently recuperating in Portland, Oregon. She hopes to return to performing in early November, 2008.

In late October, 2008, after finishing her hand therapy, Margaret will be moving back to the New York City area, where she resided before her move to Portland. She is looking forward to being closer to her family in Brooklyn, and continuing her performing, composing and painting pursuits on the east coast. Margaret also plans to continue her work playing for patients in hospitals, and doing music & art workshops in the schools. She also hopes to do a NYC CD release concert for her recently released "For the Moment" quartet CD, which was originally recorded in NYC in 1989. This CD contains Margaret's original compositions, and features Margaret on electric guitar, Fred Hersch on piano, Michael Formanek on bass, and Michael Sarin on drums.

Margaret's long awaited NYC quartet CD is here! - December 4, 2007

Margaret's third and most recent CD, For the Moment, is now available! This recording showcases Margaret's original jazz quartet compositions. The Margaret Slovak Quartet consists of Margaret Slovak on electric guitar, Grammy nominee Fred Hersch on piano, Michael Formanek on acoustic bass, and Michael Sarin on drums. For the Moment was recorded in New York City in November, 1989; it is now being released for the first time, 18 years after the original recording sessions!

For the Moment is available for purchase through this website (go to "CD's/Artwork") and from www.cdbaby.com/all/slovakmusic.
It is also available locally in Portland, Oregon at Music Millennium and Annie Bloom's Books.

Current Activities and Projects - August 6, 2007

Margaret is currently performing for patients 5 - 6 days per week in Portland area hospitals. She is continuing to heal and grow stronger following surgery and treatment for injuries to her right shoulder, arm and hand from a car accident in January, '03.

A radio airplay campaign was launched in the fall of 2006 for her second CD, "New Wings," which is now receiving national and international airplay. This CD was ranked #1 in both the "All Genre" and "Jazz" Review categories on www.WomensRadio.com for January - July, 2007. ""New Wings" was also ranked #63 in the top 100 listing for 2006 on www.NewAgeReporter.com.

In the fall of 2007, Margaret is planning to release her third CD, entitled "For the Moment." This quartet recording of her original compositions was recorded in New York City in November, 1989. The CD features Margaret on electric guitar, Fred Hersch on piano, Michael Formanek on bass, and Michael Sarin on drums.

Margaret is also beginning to compose music for a fourth CD, slated for a possible 2008/2009 release. New paintings are also in the works!

In addition, the title track from Margaret's recent "New Wings" CD, was included in a compilation CD entitled "Bridges", which was released by the Pacific Oncology Group in May, 2007. The CD features musicians from the Portland area, and is a fundraiser for cancer research and educational projects.

Margaret releases a new CD! - March 19, 2005

Margaret Slovak officially released her second CD, "New Wings", on March 18th, 2005, with an elegant release concert in St. Anne's Chapel at Marylhurst University, located near Portland, Oregon.

This new CD features eleven of Margaret's jazz/classical compositions, plus a 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 at Hopewell House Hospice.

Margaret originally began 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.

"New Wings" has already received several favorable reviews, and airplay on KMHD-FM and KBOO-FM in Portland, Oregon. The CD is currently being sent out into the world through various methods of flight. Margaret's performances, hospital playing and her new recording were recently featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Oregon Artbeat" television program on KOPB-TV on November 3rd and November 6th, 2005.

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