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Melissa Stylianou

Jazz vocalist, lyricist, and educator Melissa Stylianou, hailed by piano master Fred Hersch for her “gorgeous instrument, superb musicianship, and great taste,” has garnered acclaim as both a gifted songwriter and a bold, imaginative interpreter of wide-ranging material spanning diverse many genres, from the Great American Songbook to Johnny Cash to Joanna Newsom. Stylianou is also one-third of the infectious, Boswell Sisters-inspired close-harmony vocal trio Duchess, which has amassed many mentions in year-end critics’ polls and received the 2021 & 2022 Vocal Group of the Year Award from the Jazz Journalists Association.

In addition to her five albums as a leader and four with Duchess to date, Stylianou has documented her close musical bond with guitar legend Gene Bertoncini and sought-after bassist Ike Sturm on the 2022 album Dream Dancing. This intimate, collaborative, highly spontaneous trio focuses on standards, with Bertoncini’s astute nylon-string voicings and arrangements in the forefront. In addition, Stylianou is the vocalist in Sturm’s new ensemble Heart, with an album forthcoming in 2022. She has made numerous top festival and club appearances and toured internationally.


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4
Album Review

Brenda Earle Stokes: Motherhood

Read "Motherhood" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Motherhood is a salient subject if ever there was one. Yet few jazz musicians ever touch on it in their work, never mind dedicating an entire record to the topic. The real or keenly felt need to keep up with the Joneses in a musical atmosphere that typically applauds and promotes standard bearers, hyper-masculine happenings, politically charged firebrands, and cutting-edge quests doesn't leave much room for an honest and open-hearted look at the scope of selflessness and self-discovery involved with ...

4
Album Review

DUCHESS: Live At Jazz Standard

Read "Live At Jazz Standard" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


There are a fair number of vocal groups blending harmoniously and swinging through the jazz set today, but none are as charmingly sassy as DUCHESS. With two studio albums already under a collective belt—actually three, if you include an under-the-radar Christmas set—it only made sense for vocalists Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou to finally show the greater listening community what Duchess does on the stage. Joining up with its regular rhythm section—pianist Michael Cabe, guitarist ...

Album Review

Melissa Stylianou: No Regrets

Read "No Regrets" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Canadese di nascita e formazione, la cantante Melissa Stylianou ormai da un decennio vive a New York, dove s'è fatta conoscere e apprezzare per le pregevoli collaborazioni (Ben Monder, Chris Lightcap, Matt Wilson, Rodney Green) ed i concerti in prestigiosi club come il Blue Note, l'Iridium, il Jazz Standard o il Birdland. Se nei quattro dischi precedenti affrontava un repertorio variegato, alternando noti standard a temi di Tom Waits, Biörk o Johnny Cash, in questo No Regrets sceglie d'immergersi ...

60
Live Review

Melissa Stylianou Quartet: New York City, NY, April 3, 2012

Read "Melissa Stylianou Quartet: New York City, NY, April 3, 2012" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes


Melissa Stylianou Quartet Jazz Standard New York, NY April 3, 2012During the second set of Toronto-born Melissa Stylianou's CD release event for Silent Movie (Anzic, 2012) at New York's Jazz Standard, the vocalist kicked things off with a rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's “It Might As Well Be Spring," played at a slow tempo and showcasing guitarist Pete McCann.The band was rounded out by pianist Jamie Reynolds, bassist Gary Wong and drummer Mike ...

164
Album Review

Melissa Stylianou: Sliding Down

Read "Sliding Down" reviewed by Jim Santella


Through her program of standards and originals, jazz vocalist Melissa Stylianou interprets with an emotional fervor. She swings, she's hip, and she delivers a unique performance. Stylianou works in both lyrical presentation and thrilling wordless vocals. Musically, she carries a velvety upper register that floats gently on the breeze. But it's not her voice that stands out as the deciding factor on this recommended album; it's her accompaniment. While the album's focus remains clearly on the singer, her surrounding band ...

228
Album Review

Melissa Stylianou: Sliding Down

Read "Sliding Down" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza


Melissa Stylianou has long established herself as one of the hottest singers in Canada. She took off from Toronto, soaring into the imagination of listeners, and with good reason: she interprets a song with articulate assurance and a fine sense of phrasing.

Stylainou has paid her dues. She formed her first band, a trio, in 1997. Four years later she augmented the lineup, turning the group into a sextet. Her tours of Canada cemented her reputation, as well as her ...

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1

Recording

Three Swinging Singers - Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner & Melissa Stylianou - Make Their Trio Debut As Duchess

Three Swinging Singers - Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner & Melissa Stylianou - Make Their Trio Debut As Duchess

Source: Jason Byrne, Red Cat Publicity

The new jazz vocal trio - whose first album arrives from Anzic Records on Feb. 17, 2015 - bottles an irresistibly fizzing style, inspired by the pioneering harmonies of the Boswell Sisters Duchess - backed by an ace band including drummer Matt Wilson - plays its album release show at New York City's Jazz Standard on March 3, 2015 “This threesome devises original arrangements of mostly vintage songs, both familiar and offbeat. They understand that swinging music goes hand in ...

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Recording

Jazz Charmer Melissa Stylianou Conveys Intimate, Evocative Stories in Song with "Silent Movie"

Jazz Charmer Melissa Stylianou Conveys Intimate, Evocative Stories in Song with "Silent Movie"

Source: Jason Byrne, Red Cat Publicity

Jazz Charmer Melissa Stylianou Conveys Intimate, Evocative Stories in Song with “Silent Movie" The singer's fourth album—to be released in March 2012 by Anzic Records—presents her fresh takes on beloved jazz standards and left-field songs from Johnny Cash to Joanna Newsom, backed by top New York players “Melissa Stylianou has it all—a gorgeous instrument, superb musicianship and great taste." —Fred Hersch “Silent Movie" NYC CD Release Concert @ Jazz Standard (116 E. 27th St) Tuesday, April 3, 7:30 & 9:30 ...

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Performance / Tour

Melissa Stylianou Trio at Futura Bistro Modern tonight!

Melissa Stylianou Trio at Futura Bistro Modern tonight!

Source: All About Jazz

Melissa Stylianou - vocals Jamie Reynolds - piano Dan Loomis - bass

Wednesday, Mar. 22 8pm - 11pm No Cover Futura Bistro Modern 287 9th St. (between 4th Ave. and 5th Ave.) Brooklyn Take the F to 4th Ave. or the R to 9th St. website: http://www.futurabm.com

“The sort of warm, open and secure singer for whom style is a ...

“An unmannered and affecting jazz singer with a taste for choice material.” - The New Yorker

"For her latest outing, Melissa leaned into the Great American Songbook for a collection of brilliant reinventions. She's accompanied by Gene Bertoncini on acoustic guitar and stand-up bass player Ike Sturm, but they play together like a band, not a singer with backing musicians." - Downbeat Magazine review of "Dream Dancing" (5 stars)

"She’s the sort of warm, open and secure singer for whom “style” is a means not an end." —Mark Miller, jazz critic, Globe and Mail

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Motherhood

Self Produced
2024

buy

Live At Jazz Standard

Anzic Records
2020

buy

No Regrets

Anzic Records
2015

buy

Silent Movie

Anzic Records
2012

buy

Sliding Down

Self Produced
2007

buy

Sliding Down

Sleepin' Bee
2006

buy

Happy Mother's Day

From: Motherhood
By Melissa Stylianou

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