Robert Wade Photography
Melissa Morgan will bewitch you with her delivery of classic and contemporary songs. A semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition of 2004, Morgan will share her extraordinary voice and innate sense of swing in an intimate setting. Join us!
Friday, August 23, 2013 at 8pm
at Piedmont Piano Company
1728 San Pablo Ave. (at 18th), Oakland, CA
$15 - To reserve tickets with your credit card, please call (510) 547-8188
Light refreshments will be served during the break and after the performance.
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“For her debut release, Melissa Morgan wanted a gritty, retro vibe evocative of classic jazz vocal albums of the 1950s and ’60s. She also wanted to pay tribute to such heroines of that era as Nancy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan. On both counts she succeeds admirably, thanks not only to her own mellifluous richness but also to a formidable rhythm section led by pianist Gerald Clayton and various assemblages of horns, including trumpeter Christian Scott on three tracks...But Morgan achieves more than mere mimicry or hero worship. Where the breathless Wilson of the early ’60s seemed honey-dipped, the more audacious Morgan is decidedly salty.”
“Morgan is a consistent joy, and unlike some singers, she commands the band, not the other way around. Given the spicy edge in her sexy voice, her dry allure and the way she pops the words like a whip on a gospel choir, Morgan’s time has come.”
“You’ll hear elements of Nancy Wilson, Diana Washington and Dakota Staton in her sound, but Melissa Morgan isn’t copying anybody...with the help of her top-grade studio group, Ms. Morgan’s voice is a shaft of sunlight in our drab summer”
Evening Standard (London)
“…a gifted, classically trained jazz and blues singer who can seduce and captivate with her voice alone. At 28, she combines the poise and maturity of a seasoned veteran with the infectious verve of a fresh new talent. Produced by young trumpet phenom Christian Scott, who also performs on four tracks, Until I Met You is one of the most assured and enjoyable debut albums by any jazz singer in recent memory.”
San Diego Union- Tribune
Melissa Morgan was born in New York City and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. She began studying piano at age four and, during high school, began singing with local choirs. She was soon performing with select classical vocal groups across the country and abroad and was recognized with numerous awards for both piano and vocal music.
Outside of school, she furthered her studies with renowned choir director Dr. Maredia Warren and soprano Katherine Harris of the Metropolitan Opera. Melissa’s love of jazz blossomed upon her discovery of classic recordings by Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughn.
Melissa received a B.A in jazz vocal performance from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music and studied with many prominent artists including Yolande Bavan of jazz vocal group, Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan, Jon Faddis, Mark Murphy and Roseanna Vitro. Since then, she has been a regular performer at some of New York’s top jazz room such as Cleopatra’s Needle, Flute, G Bar, Smalls, Smoke and St. Nick’s Pub. She has appeared with her own trio as well as other artists including Harold Mabern, David Hazeltine and Sam Yahel. In 2001 she was featured in performances with Jon Faddis and the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars at the Blue Note in New York. Melissa performed at the 2002 New York Women of Jazz Festival at Smoke jazz club, and that same year was a guest on the Metro TV-NY program “Where to hear jazz in New York City”.
In September of 2004, Melissa was named a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in Washington D.C. She has managed her own developments as a jazz singer and has quickly risen to heights unexpected for one so young. She has recently relocated to Los Angeles, California to begin a recording career and to extend her jazz audience throughout the west coast.