Setnor School of Music
Instructor, Applied Music and Performance (Jazz Trombone)
Jazz trombonist Melissa Gardiner received a master’s degree in jazz performance at the Juilliard School, where she studied with Steve Turre. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan, where she studied with Dennis Wilson (jazz) and David Jackson (classical). Former teachers also include Bill Harris, Curtis Fuller, and Wycliffe Gordon.
Gardiner leads a jazz organ trio called MG3 and has released a debut album titled Transitions. She recently formed a New Orleans-style brass band called Second Line Syracuse, which won Best Jazz Band in the Syracuse NewTimes polls. In addition, she leads regular jazz jam sessions for the greater Syracuse community.
Gardiner is a member of the CNY Jazz Orchestra and the Blacklites, and often joins other regional groups like E.S.P., Sophistafunk, and Paradigm Shift. In addition, she has had the honor of performing with many legendary musicians, including Aretha Franklin, Geri Allen, Wycliffe Gordon, Gerald Wilson, and Patti Austin. She has also played for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, the New York City Ballet, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Disneyland.
Gardiner is also a guest lecturer for trombone at Cornell University and is a member of the Professional Musicians of Central New York Local 78 A.F.M.