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Music heals guitarist Margaret Slovak on "Ballad for Brad" album

A woman in a blue sweater looks down at her hands while playing guitar.
Margaret Slovak
Guitarist and painter Margaret Slovak

Margaret Slovak's comeback recording —after a long recovery from a car accident, her sister's death, and her husband's fight with cancer— contains her original music and her own artwork.

Margaret Slovak plays classical-style nylon-string guitar and electric guitar. Her style is a blend of jazz, classical and world music. She's also a painter, and her original art can be found on her CD covers and inserts.

A 1986 graduate of Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts, Slovak has studied, taught and performed in the Pacific Northwest as well as around the country. She's spent time in her hometown of Denver, Colorado, in the Midwest and New York City. In 2012, she settled in Austin, Texas.

In 2003, while driving in Portland, Oregon, Slovak was in a car accident that injured her right hand, arm, shoulder and her brachial plexus — a network of nerves connecting the spinal cord with the arm and hand. Bad news for anyone, but especially devastating for a guitarist.

After eight corrective surgeries, intensive physical therapy and a long healing process, Slovkak considers "Ballad for Brad" as her comeback album. It released on June 1.

Margaret Slovak

Throughout her career, Slovak has performed as a "Resident Musician in Healthcare" for hospitals, medical centers, hospices and treatment centers.

The title track of the new album, "Ballad for Brad," is dedicated to her husband's successful journey through cancer treatment. "Song for Anne" reflects Slovak's reaction to the untimely death of her sister.

On the album, Slovak is accompanied by bassist Harvie S and drummer Michael Sarin.

Listen for "Song for Anne" from Margaret Slovak's "Ballad for Brad" on KNKX Midday and Evening Jazz.

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.