Melissa Javors Since Melissa Javors won the Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk competition in 1981, she has been winning the hearts and minds of music fans and the respect and admiration of her peers. Javors was raised in a New Jersey family with diverse musical tastes. Her father played jazz drums, a grandmother was a classical pianist, and her grandfather was a fan of Broadway musicals. Her cousin, Pat Street, introduced her to folk music in her early teens. Pat was writing songs with Erik Darling in Greenwich Village. "She gave me her old ukulele and I loved being able to accompany myself singing. With her encouragement, I was 'the first one on my block' to become a folksinger." says Javors. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Ohio Wesleyan University where she became involved in the political movements of the day, emulated songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Carole King, embroidered her jeans, and engaged in other counter cultural pursuits. Javors married and had two daughters while living in Boulder, Colorado. She spent the next two decades in San Antonio, Texas before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 1998. Both the Kerrville Folk Festival and the Austin music scene lent Javors inspiration and support in developing her songwriting skills. Gary P. Nunn produced her first LP "Just Beginning" for his Guacamole Records in 1983. A British label, "Making Waves" in 1993, released her CD, "The Real Woman In Me". Javors toured extensively in Texas, has been a frequent main stage performer at Kerrville, and has impressed audiences in Alaska, England, and Scotland. Playing keyboard and mountain dulcimer, she has shared stages with Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Shake Russell, Dana Cooper, Crow Johnson, Emily Kaitz, Chuck Pyle, and other Kerrville artists. Javors placed first in the Austin Music Umbrella's annual competition in 1990, and was voted "Songwriter of the Year" in San Antonio in 1993. At the 2001 30th Anniversary Kerrville Folk Festival, Javors performed with the festival orchestra conducted by David Amram. Several of Javors' songs have been covered by other artists: "Cowboy Fantasy" and "Grace" by Bill and Bonnie Hearne; "Grace" and "The Garden" by James Durst; and "The Real Woman In Me" by Bobbi Lace on Nashville's 615 records, which rose to the Number 2 spot on the Cashbox Independent Singles chart in 1987. Most recently, Peter, Paul and Mary have chosen to include "Wild Horses" as a featured song for their current tour. Javors has been battling Type I diabetes since 1979, and received the "gift of life" from her brother Paul who donated one of his kidneys for a successful transplant operation in 1999. With renewed health and energy, Javors is busy writing and co-writing songs. She is a frequent performer at writer's nights in popular hangouts around town. Her latest CD "Crazy Wisdom", produced by two time Grammy nominated producer Fred Bogert was released on Chrome Records. A longtime music teacher, Javors now works with first grade English Language Learners at Paragon Mills Elementary School in Nashville, TN. She has served on advisory boards for the Country Music Hall of Fame developing curricula on songwriting and improvisation in the schools. Most recently she brought Paul Reisler's "Kid Pan Alley" to Nashville's Metro school district where a fabulous CD of songs written by elementary music students with hit song writers was produced with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and released at the Ryman Auditorium in October, 2004.
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