Mariel Berger started playing piano when she was 4 years old, and at age 5 was featured on Iowa City Public Television playing piano with an orchestra. She attended Indiana University, studying jazz piano, and went on to receive an M.A. at William Paterson in composition and jazz arranging, studying with Jim McNeely. In 2006 she was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, and in 2007 her music premiered at the Renee Weiler Concert Hall for the Women’s Work Series. In the summer of 2009 she opened up for Mos Def (now known as Yasiin Bey), playing keyboard with the singer Lilla D’Mone. Mariel was a recipient of the 2011 Young Jazz Composers Awards and played piano at the Aaron Davis Hall with the Tamar-Kali group. In 2012, she subbed in the pit for the Broadway musical, Evita, playing accordion and synthesizer. She has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, Harold Arts, and ElMERGE. In the Fall of 2013, Mariel went on tour in Europe for 7 weeks, playing and creating sound installations for Tara Rynders’s project: You and Me. In 2014 Mariel had the opportunity to accompany Josephine Foster at the Manhattan Inn, and she released a solo cd, Built on Water, of all original songs for voice and piano. Mariel was an artist in residence in the Emerge NYC Art/Activism Residency in 2015, where she made a video on gentrification.
After studying extensively and playing Classical, Jazz, Brazilian, Balkan, and Experimental styles, she now likes to write dreamy, hopeful songs of justice. These days she plays regularly with her sister, Melody with their duo aptly named: The Berger Sisters . The Berger Sisters recently released a cd, Maybe So, featuring some of her original songs. She writes for Tom Tom Magazine which features women drummers, and curates a monthly performance series, The Moon Show, a salon that promotes underrepresented artists. Mariel co-directs The Moon Choir, and teaches song-writing and piano all around Brooklyn. Mariel believes in the importance of collective collaboration as a way of fighting fascism and oppression and that singing justice songs together heals and unites us.