Jazz Vespers: Melanie Dyer and Virg Dzurinko

Sun Sep 24 2023 at 05:00 pm to 06:00 pm

Saint Peter's Church | New York

Saint Peter's Church
Publisher/HostSaint Peter's Church
Jazz Vespers: Melanie Dyer and Virg Dzurinko
NYC's unique jazz prayer service, Sundays at 5 since 1965. All are welcome. This week: Melanie Dyer (viola) and Virg Dzurinko (piano)
About this Event
Event Photos

NYC's unique jazz prayer service, Sundays at 5 since 1965. People of all faith traditions (or no faith tradition) are welcome. Free to attend!


Violist Melanie Dyer performs and composes in creative, improvised, and through-composed music forms. In 2011, Melanie founded WeFreeStrings, an improvising string/rhythm collective. In addition to WeFreeStrings, she performs with Sun Ra Arkestra, Heroes Are Gang Leaders, Dead Lecturers, Gwen Laster’s New Muse 4tet, Craig Harris, and other New York City-based improvisers.

Melanie has played and/or recorded with Henry Grimes, Tulivu Donna Cumberbatch, Nona Hendryx, Joe Bonner, Reggie Workman, Howard Johnson, David Haney, and many other notable musicians in Europe, South Africa, and the U.S. Recordings include WeFreeStrings Fulfillment (Indepstrings, 2018), The Music of William Parker: Migration of Silence Into & Out of the Tone World (2021), Gwen Laster's Blue Lotus: New Muse 4tet (2021), David Haney’s Birth of a City (2019), Come Sunday (T. Cumberbatch, 2015); Dogon A.D. Revisited, Salim Washington (2018); Fred Ho & Quincy Saul Present the Music of Cal Massey: A Tribute (2011); Live at St Nick’s Pub, Salim Washington & Donald Smith Ensemble, Cadence Records (2007); With Strings, Salim Washington & The Harlem Arts Ensemble, CIMP Records (2007); Harlem Homecoming, Salim Washington & The Harlem Arts Ensemble, UJam Records (2005), and others.

WeFreeStrings has received project support from New Music USA, Chamber Music America, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, and individual donors.


Virg Dzurinko is a pianist who is equally at home with jazz standards and free improvisation. For years, she played steady gigs in clubs and restaurants in and around New York City. After a long hiatus from the performing scene, Virg started doing sessions with an ever-expanding number of musicians and eventually began playing in public again.

In 2014, she gave a number of solo performances in New York City. She also played two duo concerts — the first with bassoonist Claire de Brunner and later that year with bassist Adam Lane. Virg and Connie Crothers performed together in Adam Lane’s Two-Piano-Madness quintet, along with Lane, multiple-horn player Daniel Carter, and drummer Vijay Anderson.

In 2015, Virg and trumpeter Ryan Messina began performing together and collaborating on a number of projects. Undertow, the first in a series of planned duo recordings, was released in 2016. Their second recording, This Time was released in in 2019. Also in 2015, Virg played a duo concert with Swedish violinist Eva Lindal, and a trio concert with Ryan Messina and alto player Nick Lyons.

In 2016, she played a solo set as part of Interlace, a two-day concert event at the Outpost Performance Space in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The concert concluded with a two-piano performance by Virg and pianist/vocalist Kazzrie Jaxen. Their two-piano duo, Quantum Entanglement, performed again in 2016 in a piano festival at the Greenwich House Music School in New York City.

Also in 2016, Virg performed with Extreme Tides, a quintet with Ryan Messina, Nick Lyons, Adam Lane and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, and in several duo concerts with Ryan Messina. She also performed in a quartet with tenor player Birgitta Flick, tenor player Daro Behroozi, and drummer Mareike Wiening.

At the end of 2016, Virg, Ryan Messina, NIck Lyons, Andrea Wolper (voice), Michael Wimberly (percussion), and Ken Filiano (bass) gave a Winter Solstice Concert performed entirely in the dark at Scholes Street Studio. This Winter Solstice Concert in the Dark is now an annual event.

In 2021, Virg and Swedish violinist Eva Lindal released a duo recording, The Hidden Music of Sofia G., which is the first release of found compositions by the little-known Armenian composer, Sofia Ganeshian. They plan to release a second duo CD at the end of 2023. Prior to the release of The Hidden Music, Virg and Eva received a grant to tour Sweden in the spring of 2019 to promote the project. (The Hidden Music of Sofia G. was released on the Sharakan label.)

VIrg is member of the free jazz collective, Jump Off This Bridge, with violist Judith Insell, trumpeter Eli Asher, and percussionist Leonid Galaganov. In 2021, the group made a short European tour to Switzerland and Austria. They were among the featured performers at the annual avant-garde Kaleidophon festival in Ulrichsberg, Austria, and also performed at the Porgy and Bess jazz club in Vienna. In 2022, Jump Off This Bridge participated in the Progressive Chamber Music Festival in New York City.

Among the musicians Virg has performed with are instrumentalists Vijay Anderson, Eli Asher, Daro Behroozi, Adam Caine, Daniel Carter, Claire de Brunner, Daniel Carter, Andrew Drury, Ken Filiano, Birgitta Flick, Leonid Galaganov, Alex Gressel, Judith Insell, Will Jhun, Jessica Jones, Takafumi Kosaka, Charley Krachy, Jan Leder, Eva Lindal, Adam Lane, Gary Levy, Nick Lyons, Jon McCutcheon, Ryan Messina, Atsushi Ouchi, Sean Smith, Joe Solomon, Joanna Sternberg, Satoshi Takeishi, Federico Ughi, John Wagner, Mareika Wiening, Michael Wimberly; and vocalists Maryanne DeProphetis, Dori Levine, Alexis Parsons, and Andrea Wolper. Virg has performed at various venues in the NYC area including The Stone, Birdland, Roulette, Greenwich House, Cornelia Street Cafe, the Howland Cultural Center, the Firehouse Space, iBeam, Scholes Street Studio, The Main Drag, and Shift.

Virg has composed music for documentary films, television, and cartoons. With Greg Ford, she co-wrote the tune “Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives,” sung by Mel Tormé in the Warner Bros. cartoon “Night of the Living Duck.” This song is included on the Rhino Records 1999 release, Mel Tormé at the Movies.

Her solo CD, Fun City, was released in 1999.

Virg studied improvisation with Connie Crothers for a number of years. Her first public performance was a solo concert produced by the Lennie Tristano Jazz Foundation.

Virg was one of the producers (with Kazzrie Jaxen, Carol Liebowitz, and Andrea Wolper) of "Love & Music: A Celebration of Connie Crothers." This memorial tribute to Connie, featuring more than 70 musicians, artists, dancers, and poets, took place on November 13, 2016 at Roulette in Brooklyn. Virg performed at that event with Ryan Messina (trumpet), Jessica Jones (tenor), Adam Lane (bass), and Federico Ughi (drums).

Virg lives and teaches in Manhattan. She is the manager of New Artists Records.


Event Venue & Nearby Stays

Saint Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue, New York, United States


USD 0.00

Sharing is Caring: