Melody Gardot – My Introduction To Jazz

I was first introduced to Melody Gardot’s music by a friend of my Dad’s on a trip to Seattle. I thought she had a pretty voice but I didn’t get the complexity of her music on that first listen. Two days later, I was in a boutique in downtown Seattle that was playing her song ‘Les Etoiles.’ That’s when I really “heard” her beautiful, unique voice. I fell in love with her pure tone which somehow also managed to sound soulful. I bought her album right then and there and then bought it again on iTunes so that I could play it anywhere and everywhere.

Melody’s album, introduced me to a form of jazz that I could actually see myself singing. It was classic and symphonic but also modern and passionate. It inspired me to sign up for my school’s Jazz Band class which met almost every day. This was one of the best things I ever did as I was the band’s only vocalist. I was able to explore a completely new genre of music and learn and practice techniques that I learned from listening to Melody’s music (scatting, ad-libbing, etc.). The two years that I spent working with the jazz band gave me an incredible jazz foundation that I fall back on when singing any genre of music.

Several weeks ago, I saw Melody perform for the first time at the Herbst Theatre. I was completely blown away by her ability to command the stage. I wasn’t expecting to be so engrossed in her show since her music is much more laid back than the hip-hop shows (concerts?) that I love to go to but I can honestly say that this was one of the most entertaining live performances that I’ve ever been to. Not only did Melody sound just as good, if not better than her recordings, but she also played the guitar and the piano beautifully. I was so inspired by the way that she commanded the stage but also allowed her extremely talented band to have their moments to shine. I admire Melody so much. In a sea of auto-tuned voices devoid of all emotion, Melody stands out as an artist that I’m striving to become: authentic, creative, immensely talented, witty and smart. Melody, you inspire me.

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