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Melody Gardot is an American jazz singer and musician in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Born in 1985, she was disabled at 19, after being struck by a car while riding her bicycle. This event, though tragic, led to her recognition as a remarkable musician.
Her musical beginning was prompted by a tending physician who was concerned with her cognitive impairment as a result of head injury sustained in the accident. He believed music would help her brain injury drastically improve, as it has been known to show remarkable results in improving people's cognitive ability after such trauma. It helps by rebuilding the pathways within the brain which are necessary for recalling data. (Specifically in the areas of Memory, Calculating Data, Executive Functioning Skills, etc.) Speaking from British Columbia, Katherine Wright of the Music Therapy Association explains, "Music enables a person to reminisce and reconnect with her sense of identity. Songwriting is an excellent tool to use when working on concentration and other cognitive issues."
Following her doctor's suggestion, Melody Gardot made recordings bedside, while still unable to walk, and eventually released the works as an EP titled Some Lessons the Bedroom Sessions' . Gardot's desire to be well, combined with a bit of luck, brought her to the attention of a local radio DJ at the AAA station WXPN, known for launching the careers of artists such as Amos Lee and Norah Jones. She quickly gained public esteem both for her stunning music as well as her remarkable courage despite her afflictions.
City Paper Philadelphia even gave her a nod in their 2005 annual people's choice awards saying "To Our Eyes, nobody is a more inspiring, more talented fighter than singer/songwriter phenom Melody Gardot. She turned the pain of a life-changing car accident into surprisingly mature and utterly enthralling music". The Paper was the first to publish an article on the young girl. (see link below)
Her first full-length album, a follow-up to the EP Some Lessons, is entitled Worrisome Heart. The album features 11 original songs [iTunes US version omits the track "Wicked Ride"] written by Melody Gardot and was co-produced by both Grammy-award-winning producer Glenn Barratt and Melody Gardot. Performers on the album include not only the trio that accompanies her live, but also an impressive cast of musicians such as guitarist Jef Lee Johnson (Billy Joel, George Duke, Aretha Franklin, David Sandborn), organist Joel Bryant (Aretha Franklin, Harry Connick Jr.), and trumpeter Matt Cappy (Jill Scott, Kirk Franklin).
There are many variables that make performing nearly impossible for the young songstress. Still in her early twenties, Melody Gardot carries a cane and must wear dark glasses. She often has a little black box tied to her waist; called a TENS unit, it is used to alleviate neuralgic pain/muscle pain. She sits on a specialized chair while performing, owing to pelvic fractures sustained in the accident. Her pelvis remains misaligned, and she also suffers from an autonomic nervous system dysfunction, causing hypersensitivity to noise and sound.
Her ability to overcome her physical limitations, and her ability to write and perform despite her pain, make her an inspiration. However, her music, even without the associated back-story, is impressive all on its own: "Her EP “Some Lessons — The Bedroom Sessions” is in part a chronicle of her struggle to maintain her identity against the backdrop of disability. She has not exploited these circumstances, nor hidden them. It is all rather matter-of-fact. Yet even without the drama of her recovery, she would still have had plenty of interest from media and audiences, for she is truly a dynamic and sincere talent." - Montgomery Co. News
compone, toca la guitarra y canta en su disco titulado Worrisone Heart, dotada con una voz melodiosa y un estilo que combina Jazz, Folk y Swing irrumpe en la música contemporánea y acompañada de un grupo que privilegia lo acústico y pocos instrumentos, Gardot nos abre su corazón y nos entrega un paquete de canciones que nos recuerdan a Billie Holliday o Ella Fitzgerald. Cuando cantantes como Norah Jones y Diana Krall se estancan, se vuelven predecibles y repetitivas, aires frescos como los de Madeline Peyroux o Melody Gardot, nos abren nuevas posibilidades a los amantes del jazz moderno.