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Mya Adriene Byrne[1] is an American singer/songwriter falling mostly in the Americana vein, a combination of folk, blues and country music. Based in New York for 13 years, Byrne currently resides in San Francisco and performs solo or with various bands on both coasts.[2][3] In 2014, Byrne publicly announced her transgender status and transition[4] and has continued to work as a musician and performer.


Mya Byrne

Over her career, Byrne has opened for such notable acts as Steve Forbert, Railroad Earth, Jack HardyHeartless Bastards, Rae Spoon, Greensky Bluegrass, Levon Helm, and Suzanne Vega.

In 2004, Byrne independently released her debut EP, Dawn. She was a pre-finalist for the new song competition at the 2004 Newport Folk Festival, and was the recipient of a PLUS Award from ASCAP in 2004, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014.[citation needed]

She was the longtime host of a popular weekly open mike at Micky's Blue Room and later Banjo Jim's in Alphabet City and was the lead guitarist in the Late Night band at Rockwood Music Hall from 2007-2009, performing weekly for most of its 18-month residency.[citation needed]

She released her first full-length album with The Ramblers in June 2008, recorded with David Immergluck of Counting Crows on additional lead guitar.[5] In 2008, The Ramblers were the opening act for Levon Helm of The Band, at the Midnight Ramble in Woodstock, New York in June, and again at the Woodstock Playhouse that September.[6]

In April 2010, The Ramblers released their second CD at Joe's Pub.[7] In September 2010, Byrne played lead guitar with Kent Burnside, grandson of R.L. Burnside, at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. The Ramblers also headlined Mercury Lounge that month.[8] In October 2010, The Ramblers showcased at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City, where they were noted as "Artists To Watch" by The Jazz Lawyer blog.[9]

In July 2011, The Ramblers opened for Heartless Bastards at Mercury Lounge. Later that summer they appeared at the Great South Bay and Port Jefferson Music Festivals.[citation needed] In January 2012, Byrne was the co-director for the Beatles Complete on Ukulele Festival at Brooklyn Bowl, alongside festival founder, producer Roger Greenawalt, and another performance that March at South By Southwest.[10] In 2012 Byrne became endorsed by D'Addario Strings.[11] In February of that year, Byrne suffered a vocal hemorrhage.[12]

By August she had recovered enough to begin touring again behind her first solo acoustic record, Lucky, and subsequently appeared as a feature artist on John Platt's show on WFUV.[13] The album reached #31 on the Roots Music Report charts for NY-based artists by January 2013.[citation needed]

In 2014, Byrne was named by New Jersey alternative music newspaper The Aquarian Weekly' as one of the 30 most promising acts of 2014[14] and was chosen to compete in the WNYC "Battle of the Boroughs",[15] and to perform as a showcase artist at the prestigious Northeast Regional Folk Alliance conference.[16]

Later in 2014, after she announced her transition on her blog,[4] Byrne gave interviews to Sing Out! and WFDU-FM radio,[17] and her poetry was featured in The Advocate.[18] In the summer of 2014, she performed at Rockwood Music Hall, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and Montclair CenterStage.[19]

Since 2014, Byrne has written several op-eds for The Advocate and Huffington Post on trans lives.[20][21][22][23]

In 2015, Byrne was named an Emerging Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, performing on the mainstage, and released her first solo full-length album, "As I Am." She was the first-place Americana winner in the 2015 Great American Song Contest, and appeared at the 2016 Philadelphia Folk Festival and again at Falcon Ridge. In 2016 her short story "Chain of Rocks" was published in The James Franco Review, selected by guest editor Ryka Aoki.[24]Her music was also featured in "[Trans]formation", a new play on trans identity, in collaboration with The Living Canvas in Chicago.[25]


  1. ^ "Mya Byrne On WFDU FM's TRADITIONS - June 16, 2014 by WFDU-Ron Olesko | Free Listening on SoundCloud". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  2. ^ "Shelley Miller and Jeremiah Birnbaum". 2012-08-23. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  3. ^ "2 singer-songwriters decide tours are better together | Entertainment". 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  4. ^ a b "Coming out and challenging unfair laws". Mya Byrne. 2014-05-31. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  5. ^ "Come see The Ramblers at the Great South Bay Music Fest | Long Island Pulse Magazine". 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  6. ^ "Blips: Four Under The Radar Bands". Glide Magazine. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  7. ^ Nate Schweber (2010-04-09). "Maplewood's Birnbaum Traces Open Road to City Music Success | Maplewood, NJ Patch". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  8. ^ "Pop Tarts Suck Toasted - Tonight! The Ramblers @ Mercury Lounge! THE". 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  9. ^ "CMJ 2010: Five Artists to Watch". The Jazz Lawyer. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  10. ^ "The Beatles Complete On Ukulele presents: The Beatles' 64 Greatest Hits – Tickets – Brooklyn Bowl – Brooklyn, NY – January 14th, 2012". Brooklyn Bowl. 2012-01-14. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  11. ^ "D'Addario Strings : Artist Details : Jeremiah Birnbaum". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  12. ^ "Mya Byrne - The Challenges Facing Transgender Artists and playlist for WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS for June 15, 2014". Sing Out!. 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  13. ^ [1] Archived September 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "10 Must-See Bands For 2014 | The Aquarian Weekly". 2014-01-22. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  15. ^ "Battle of the Boroughs: Manhattan- Events". The Greene Space. 2014-02-07. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  16. ^ "NERFA Home Page". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  17. ^ "Mya Byrne - The Challenges Facing Transgender Artists and playlist for WFDU-FM's TRADITIONS for June 15, 2014". Sing Out!. 2014-06-16. Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  18. ^ Kellaway, Mitch (2014-07-05). "New Trans Voices: Hear From the Trans Poets Workshop NYC". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  19. ^ Gwen Orel and Cecelia Levine (2014-08-07). "Outpost in the Burbs presents seven bands on Montclair's Center Stage - Music". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  20. ^ Adriene, Mya (2014-12-10). "Op-ed: On Kate Pierson, and How Cultural Misrepresentation Hurts Trans Women". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
  21. ^ Adriene, Mya (2015-01-01). "Op-ed: We Need to Protect Our Trans Children". Retrieved 2015-10-20. 
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