Composer and singer Jennifer Bellor blends contemporary jazz, classical and rock styles.
Praised as “creating her own world of music with symbolisms, imagery, and poetry all fused together to form a creative synergy that is distinctly hers” (No Depression) and having the ability to “maintain a highly individual identity without needing to take refuge in pre-post-genre musical silos” (Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox), composer Jennifer Bellor writes music that is inspired by personal experiences, text, and imagery, and has been hailed as “gorgeously ethereal” (City Paper), “haunting” (JazzCorner) and “erotic” (fanfare magazine). Bellor’s music draws on a variety of influences, evidenced in her debut album “Stay,” which is a melting pot of different music styles largely based on poetry. Stay was featured on NewMusicBox’s 2016 Staff picks, and her composition Chase the Stars has received critical acclaim not only for its “dazzling eclecticism” combining opera, hip hop and jazz, but also for her singing. No Depression’s Stacey Zering proclaimed: “Bellor’s gorgeously haunting vocals hypnotizes in “Chase the Stars” like a seemingly innocent mermaid who will later capture you with no intentions of bringing you back.”
Bellor’s works have been commissioned and performed by professional and college orchestras, ensembles, and soloists throughout the world, including the Las Vegas, Lviv, and Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic; American Composers Orchestra; Henderson Symphony; Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus; Millersville University Orchestra; Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra; UNLV and Eastman New Jazz Ensembles; UNLV Wind Orchestra; Eastman, Adams State, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Central Connecticut State, CSU East Bay, and SFA university, Nazareth college wind ensemble/symphonies; Elevate Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Sirocco Flutes, Eastman Saxophone Project, Ritsos Project, A/Tonal, ShoutHouse, Cuon Vu Trio; UNLV Chamber Chorale; and many others. Her music as been heard at concert halls including the Kennedy Center, and at festivals including Festival des Anches d’Azur, Missouri State University Composition Festival, Neon Museum Artist Residency, Aspen, June in Buffalo, Florida State University Festival of New Music, Hildegard Festival, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, Composers Now Festival, Rochester Fringe Festival, and Washington National Opera’s American Opera Initiative, which her opera Duffy’s Cut and was praised as showing a “flair for full-bodied, operatic sound” (Washington Post), and for “using contrasting rhythms and clever harmonies to an intriguing effect” (Huffington Post).
Bordello Nights commissioned by the UNLV Wind Orchestra received its France premiere at the Festival des Anches d’Azur in La Croix Valmer featuring jazz saxophonists Eric Marienthal and Colin Gordon, pianist Mitch Forman, bassist Kevin Axt, and drummer Bernie Dresel. It was recorded by Klavier Records and praised as being a “terrific piece of big band jazz.” (Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine) and “evoking smoky erotic haunts in New Orleans” (Huntley Dent, Fanfare Magazine). Bellor’s new album titled Songs in the Dark released June 2017 fuses contemporary art song with pop and alternative rock. Recorded with pianist Christina Wright-Ivanova, Jason Corpuz (synth), and Summer Kodama (electric bass), it is a musical exploration into the dark, haunting and evocative poems by Emily Brontë and John Donne. She is currently working on new songs and original lyrics for her next album titled “To Sleep,” a concept album inspired by the poem “To Sleep” by John Keats.
Born and raised in Northern NY, Bellor earned a PhD in music composition at Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree in composition at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at Cornell University. The 2016 winner of The American Prize for her composition Chase the Stars, Bellor also has received awards by Elevate Ensemble for Moments Shared, Moments Lost, IAWM Judith Lang Zaimont prize for Skylark Lullaby, Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra Composition prize for Noir, and a Downbeat Award for Midnight Swim. Her primary composition teachers included David Liptak, Bob Morris, Andrew Waggoner, Sally Lamb-McCune, and Steven Stucky. She is currently Visiting Lecturer at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she teaches courses in music composition and theory. Her music is available on ITunes, Amazon, Spotify, SoundCloud and Youtube. For more information, visit www.jenniferbellor.com.