Melanie Charles: Singer/songwriter, arranger, producer, actress
Melanie J-B Charles is one of the most dynamic young voices of our time; a Haitian-American, Brooklyn native, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, producer, actress and teacher. Melanie attended LaGuardia High School for the performing arts (the Fame School) as a flute major. There she discovered her talent for writing, and musical theatre. Melanie traveled to Germany and Russia with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus as a soloist and won a number of international competitions during the tour. Fresh out of high school, Melanie toured Italy with the “Smooth Groove Band” as lead vocalist and flutist. During her 4 years in high school and through college Melanie studied classical voice with Nkenge Simpson-Hofmann and was a featured soloist with the City Wide Youth Opera directed by Andres Andrade.
A year later Melanie was accepted to the prestigious New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music under the Tutelage of Jazz Masters such as Reggie Workman, Bobby Sanabira, Junior Mance,Janet Lawson, Carla Cook, and Billy Harper. At the New School, she discovered her voice as a strong improviser, song interpreter, and arranger. During her time at the New School, Melanie also toured Europe singing back-up for Atlantic recording artist Laura Izibor, while opening up for John Legend, Maxwell, India Arie, Chrisette Michele, and Joe.
Melanie also has her own septet called “The Journey”. The Journey has been together for 4 years, playing all over NY. In April 2011, Melanie released her first self-produced album entitled “Introducing Melanie Charles and the Journey” which has received a great deal of airplay in the US and over seas. Melanie will be releasing an E.P with the tentative title “The Journey Continues” within the next few months.
Melanie is not only a strong jazz vocalist but is also one of the leading voices in the Haitian Jazz/Roots scene. In 2008, Melanie wowed audiences at NY’s SOB’s when she made her Haitian Jazz/Racine debut alongside Haitian Roots saxophonist Thurgot Theodat, and guitarist Makarios Cesaire. After receiving standing ovations that night, Melanie had made her mark as one of the important forces of Haitian vocal music and as “one of the most dynamic vocal prpes ever witnessed…” – KariJazz. Melanie, soon after graced the front cover of Caribbean Life, the most read Caribbean Newspaper in NY.
Next,Melanie performed in the Haitian Women in Jazz Festival alongside, the “Queen of Haitian Song” Emeline Michele, and Pauline Jean. From then on, Melanie has shared the bill with, Mushy Widnaer, Bonga and the Vodou Drums of Haiti, Rigaud Simon, Mozayik, Bethova Oba, Jowee Omicil, and many more. In October 2011, Melanie had the opportunity to sing the Haitian National Antehm at the Donna Karan Urban Zen Fundraiser in front of President Martelly, Wyclef Jean and a room full of Haitian and American dignitaries. Melanie has also performed many times with Haitian Jazz and Roots saxophonist Buyu Ambroise and is featured on a beautiful Haitian classic called “Vacance” on his latest album entitled “Jazzpora”. Melanie will be releasing her Haitian Jazz album during the 2012 holiday season!
Melanie has worked with the prestigious classical theatre of Harlem and its founder Alfred Preisser, in the production of “Dream on Monkey Mountain” starring Andre D’Shields, “Once on this Island” playing the lead role as “Ti Moune”, and “Little Shop of Horrors” as one of the Ronnettes. In September 2012 Melanie made her debut at the prestigious Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, playing the role of Micheline Louima (Haitian immigrant Abner Louima’s wife) in the off-Broadway play, “The Wood”.
Most recently Melanie performed a 6 month contract singing, acting and dancing in a production called “Big Band Beat” in the “Broadway Music Theatre” at Tokyo Disney.