MuseSalon is the community-engaged, curatorial practice of Malesha Jessie Taylor. It is nonprofit centered in transformation, equity and social impact using the arts as a catalyst for change. Over the past decade she has used her vocal instrument to tell stories of resilience, memory, prophecy and presence grounded in Black conscious thought. Believing that her Black Feminine identity and place of residence should be integrated into her musical creations, Taylor centers her vocal practice around embodiment, ritual and community building.
Taylor’s expansive practice has resulted in the beginnings of an auto-ethnography which chronicles her body of work through creative inquiry and deep self-reflection.
“Community involves a full circle with everyone invited, so when I sing, I also seek to educate, uplift and bring healing to hearts and spaces that are broken and overlooked. I bring my whole voice and history to my work, which includes my background in Black Church music, formal study in classical music along with experimental improvisation and free jazz. “ – Malesha Jessie Taylor
Malesha Jessie Taylor is a transdisciplinary vocal artist, born in Los Angeles, raised in Brooklyn, NY and rooted in Atlanta, GA and has yet to limit the spaces where her voice will go. Her TEDx talk entitled, “What Do You See?” is a part of her developing auto-ethnography, Transcending Performance: Exploring Black Liberatory Praxis in Vocal Arts. Her writings will document the journey of her creative practice starting with her roots in Black Church music to performing in grand operas, Broadway musicals and later catalytic experiences like singing with hip-hop poets and composing scores for movement artists and public art installations. Malesha recently composed and recorded a musical soundtrack to accompany the artwork of TIME Magazine featured painter, Charly Palmer alongside Okorie Johnson and Salah Ananse, forming a multi-media ensemble collectively entitled, Bouquet. The music takes viewers on a sonic journey through the Black Experience from Africa, through the Middle Passage and slavery to Emancipation and Afrofuturism and was shown in Charly’s recent exhibition, Departure at Hammond House Museum. Malesha also composed and recorded the vocal score for “Remembrance as Resistance: Preserving Black Narratives,” in collaboration with public artist and activist, Charmaine Minniefield which manifested into their recent installation of a modern-day, Praise House on the African American Burial Grounds within Historic Oakland Cemetery. In social practice, Malesha questions the politics of Opera, Place and Race in Guerrilla Opera, a video project that was a part of the exhibition, Cultural Fluency: Engagements with Contemporary Brooklyn at BRIC Arts (Brooklyn Information and Culture) and duplicated at the San Diego Museum of Us. This past January 2021, Malesha performed in Fear is their Alibi, an electroacoustic opera on police brutality written for soprano, bassoon and electronics composed by Harvard University professor and composer, Yvette Jackson which was featured in Prototype Opera Festival, New York and the Los Angeles Opera. In concert music, she has also performed as a soloist with John Williams’ film concert tour Lord of the Rings and Malesha plays the role of Annie in San Francisco Opera’s Amazon PrimeVideo performance of Porgy and Bess. Other credits include community and solo engagements with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra- Lincoln Center, Los Angeles Opera and The Atlanta Opera. Ms. Taylor has been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Scripps College- The Claremont Colleges, Spelman College and California State Universities, Pomona and Fullerton. She is currently teaching bi-coastal at Clark Atlanta University and California State University, San Marcos and has been a featured soloist at the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of Martin Luther King Jr. Malesha also is the Founder/ CEO of museSalon Collaborative, a 501(c)3 arts services organization. Learn more about her work at www.musesalon.org, and follow IG: @MaleshaTaylor.