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.
Read more articles
“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