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Mazur, Marilyn free

  • Inge Bruland

(b New York, Jan 18, 1955). Danish composer and jazz musician. She moved to Denmark at the age of six, and first studied the piano and later the drums and percussion at the conservatory in Copenhagen. In 1971 she began to work as a dancer with the Creative Dance Theatre, but from about 1973 concentrated on musicianship and composition. She was the organizer of several female groups, Zirenes, Primi Band and Feminist Improvising Group, and worked too with mixed groups, Six Winds and Mazur Markussen Quartet. After taking part in the first performance and recording of Mikkelborg's Aura with Miles Davis (1985), she worked with bands led by Davis, Gil Evans and Wayne Shorter, among others; since 1991 she has often performed with the Jan Garbarek Group. In 1990 she formed the band Future Song; it plays only her own music and has released Future Song (1992) and Small Labyrinths (1997). Her work on these recordings, containing elements of jazz, rock and ethnic music, is rich in tonal quality, ranging from the delicately lyrical to the wildly energetic. In form as well as sound and timbre Mazur's music is strongly experimental, and her band provides a distinguished vehicle for her ideas. Her works appear on several other recordings, including Six Winds (1982), Primi (1984), MM 4 (1984), Ocean Fables (1986), Havblik (1992) and Circular Chant (1995). Among her major compositions is Sofias Stemmer for three solo voices, children's chorus, percussion and organ, commissioned to mark Copenhagen as Cultural Capital 1996. Mazur has won numerous prizes and awards, including the JazzPar prize (2001).


  • C. Irgens-Møller: ‘Marilyn Mazur: sirene og magiker’, DMt, 62 (1987–8), 4–16
  • E. Wiedemann: ‘Tre jazz-kvinder’, DMt, 63 (1992–3), 126–31
  • L. Tømming: ‘Marilyn Mazur, international slagtøjsvirtuos’, Musikeren, no.7–8 (1993), 14–17
  • P.H. Larsen and T. Sjøgren, eds.: Politikens jazzleksikon (Copenhagen, 2003)
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