Melanie Charles is a Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter, actress, and flutist of Haitian descent with creative fluidity spanning jazz, soul, experimental, and Haitian roots music. Charles grew up singing in church, trained as an opera singer, and attended the prestigious LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts as a flute major. She is a 2010 Vocal Jazz Performance graduate of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and has trained under the tutelage of jazz masters Reggie Workman, Bobby Sanabria, Junior Mance, Janet Lawson, Carla Cook, and Billy Harper.
Charles has performed at world renowned venues, both as a leader and a sideman, in New York (Jazz at Lincoln Center; Blue Note; Smalls; Nublu), Italy (Blue Note, Milan), Japan (Billboard Live), France (Duc de Lombards, Paris), England (Ronnie Scott’s), Poland (12on14; Harris Piano Jazz Bar), Germany, and Russia. She has worked with artists such as Laura Izibor (Atlantic Records), Nicola Conte (with Jose James and Gregory Porter), underground hip-hop legend Jean Grae, SZA, and Jussie Smollet of Fox’s EMPIRE, with appearances on Good Morning America and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In April 2017, Charles collaborated with the Gorillaz on their latest album, Humanz.”
Charles has strong ties to her Haitian culture, and has been acknowledged by author Ralph Boncy and the Haitian Jazz Foundation as one of the most important women in Haitian music. Ever since performing at the Haitian Women in Jazz Festival alongside Emeline Michele and Pauline Jean, Charles has shared the bill with Mushy Widmaer, Bonga and The Vodou Drums of Haiti, Rigaud Simon, Mozayik, Bethova Oba, Jowee Omicil, Buyu Ambroise, and has performed for Haitian President Martelly and musician Wyclef Jean as part of the 2011 Donna Karan Urban Zen fundraiser.