Mary Halvorson wins 2019 MacArthur “Genius” grant

    The jazz guitarist will receive $625,000 over the next five years.

    Mary Halvorson MacArthur Foundation Award
    Image: John D & Catherine T MacArthur Foundation

    Avant-garde jazz musician Mary Halvorson has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

    The Massachusetts-born guitarist, who is one of 26 recipients of the award, popularly known as the “genius” grant, will receive $625,000 over the next five years. Other fellows include historians, scientists and philosophers.

    Over the course of her career, Halvorson has released a slew of solo records, the most recent being her 2018 double-album, Code Girl. She is also one-third of Trevor Dunn’s Trio-Convulsant, which released two LPs in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

    “For me, the main motivation in writing music is in the process itself, which to me is a process of discovery,” Halvorson said in a video released on the foundation’s YouTube channel. “And it’s that process itself that I find really exciting.”

    Halvorson is set to release A Tangle of Stars, a collaboration with Deerhoof’s John Dieterich, on October 25. Watch her interview with the MacArthur Foundation here: