Melody Gardot

Melody Gardot

American singer, author and musician
Date of Birth: 02.02.1985
Country: USA

Content:
  1. Biography of Melody Gardot
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Devastating Accident and Rehabilitation
  4. Rediscovery of Music and Rehabilitation
  5. Music Career
  6. Success and Discography
  7. International Recognition

Biography of Melody Gardot

Melody Gardot is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who considers herself a 'citizen of the world'. She follows the teachings of Buddhism and humanism and is a practitioner of macrobiotic cuisine. After a devastating accident in 2003, Gardot was able to recover from a 'vegetative state' and regain full functionality. She often speaks about the benefits of music therapy. In 2012, Gardot named a music therapy program in New Jersey after herself.

Melody Gardot

Early Life and Education

Melody Gardot was born on February 2, 1985, in New Jersey and was primarily raised by her grandparents. Her grandmother was a Polish immigrant, and her mother was a working and traveling photographer. The family frequently moved, which prevented them from accumulating any substantial assets. Gardot's life on the move continued as she grew up, this time due to the demands of her own career. She studied fashion at the Municipal College in Philadelphia.

Melody Gardot

Devastating Accident and Rehabilitation

In November 2003, while riding her bicycle, Gardot was hit by a car whose driver ignored a red traffic signal. She suffered severe head and spinal injuries, with her pelvis being fractured in two places. For a year, Gardot was bedridden and unable to change her position while lying on her back. She had to relearn simple tasks such as brushing her teeth and walking. The most noticeable effect of the nerve damage was hyper-sensitivity to light and sound, causing Gardot to almost always wear dark sunglasses. The accident also led to prolonged and short-term memory problems and difficulties in perceiving and experiencing time.

Melody Gardot

Rediscovery of Music and Rehabilitation

Gardot's treating physician insisted that music would be invaluable in her brain injury recovery, and she began composing her own songs. The nerve pathways between the cerebral hemispheres responsible for perception and higher mental functions were damaged as a result of the accident. Gardot herself admits that she became somewhat vegetable-like after the incident. She struggled to speak, maintain conversations, and even recall the necessary words to express her feelings. Listening to and composing music, as well as attempting to hum to herself and in her own mind, helped her brain form new pathways. Starting from simple growls, Gardot gradually progressed to singing into a microphone. She made visible progress and began inventing her own songs, which she sometimes refers to as part of her rehabilitation.

Melody Gardot

Music Career

Richard Germain, Gardot's physician from the New Jersey School of Medicine, compared her condition to a computer that still had all the data intact but lost access to it. "The essence of a brain injury is that you lose your ability to use it," Germain said. After the accident, Gardot visited a physiotherapist and received transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) through a device attached to her waist. The device helped block the pain-conducting nerve pathways and stimulated the production of endorphins, natural painkillers.

Melody Gardot

It is likely that without the tragic accident, Gardot would not have become a singer. She herself says, "It was the strangest beginning to something new, but when you start from a place where everything is difficult, it's easier to be grateful when things get easier." After her ordeal, Gardot's musical preferences changed, and she shifted to softer, soothing material. While relearning to walk on a treadmill, she listened to Stan Getz's album 'The Bossa Nova Years.' Unable to play the piano for a long time, Gardot started learning the guitar. Soon, melodies of her own creation reverberated from the talented patient. She had enough compositions to create a mini-album called 'Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions,' consisting of five songs, which she recorded herself. Initially, she did not want anyone else to hear her "too personal" compositions, but over time, Gardot softened and her songs started playing on a radio station in Philadelphia.

Melody Gardot

Success and Discography

Gardot's first full-length studio album, 'Worrisome Heart,' was released in 2006 and reissued in 2008 by Verve Records. After being introduced to producer Larry Klein in New York City in 2008, they began working on her second studio album, 'My One and Only Thrill,' which was released on April 28, 2009. One of the songs from the second album, 'Who Will Comfort Me?,' made it to the top ten on Smooth Jazz radio. In 2009, Gardot also released the live mini-album 'Live from SoHo.' Her album 'The Absence,' produced by Heitor Pereira, was released in 2012. On June 2, 2015, she released her latest studio work, 'Currency of Man,' available on vinyl, CD, and digital formats.

Melody Gardot

International Recognition

Melody Gardot is the recipient of the 2007 International Young Soloists Award.

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