Steeped in the song tradition of Miramichi and fine tuned in performance venues in places like Tokyo, Bangkok, Switzerland, Ireland, England, Dubai, and Hong Kong, Melanie has delighted audiences with her pure clear voice and her performances from the heart. Well known for her acapella ballad singing, heartfelt perfomances of many styles of music, and appearances at folk festivals in Canada and internationally, Melanie brings authenticity to each musical performance.
Whether she is singing her unique acapella ballads, launching into one of her original compositions, or singing one of her thoughtful arrangements of well-known or traditional tunes, an opportunity to see Melanie on-stage is one not to be missed.
Melanie has had opportunities to travel the world with her music, both as a solo musician and as the front person for a number of jazz ensembles. This work has taken her from Asia to the Middle East, and to Europe, where every venue became as familiar as her living room.
Many of Melanie’s favourite spots were in Asia. They included a group of Irish bars and pubs in Japan, as well as the busiest night-life center in the world, at Roppongi in Tokyo. It was at this time that Melanie began a working relationship with the Kanon label, a record company in Japan with which she completed two full albums as well as several compilation albums.
One of her most exciting gigs in Japan was being a part of the Tokyo Celtic Festival. Melanie had more than “One Night in Bangkok” at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Thailand where she fronted a house jazz band at the Bamboo Bar. Surprisingly the house band was made up of Russian players and one token American. Melanie was also invited to sing for world ambassadors at a special dinner and as well as the Canadian Ambassador to the official Canada Day event in Bangkok.
As well as doing an extended engagement at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul, Melanie spent some time doing some television work for Arirang television in Korea; and learned some traditional Korean music from a master singer on camera. Another highlight was doing the Terry Fox Run and singing for a huge Canada Day event in Seoul.
Melanie was flown in for a special gig for New Year’s Eve 2000 in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Club overlooking a football field where Whitney Houston and Jackie Chan were both performing.
Another of Melanie’s favorite places to play is the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the Burj al Arab Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The “Burj” is the only seven star hotel in the world and Melanie was the first musician to play in the venue upon it’s opening in 1999.
A few of Melanie’s favourite European gigs were in Switzerland at the Hotel Sauvage in Meiringen, and in Ireland in Ballina at the Downhill Hotel.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Melanie has performed at countless Canadian and Maritime events and festivals but some favorites include the annual Miramichi Folksong Festival, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, Mahone Bay Wooden Boat Festival, Helen Creighton Festival, Harbourfront Maritime Festival, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, the Miramichi Irish Festival. and the Miramichi Scottish Festival. She has also performed at Harbour Folk Events and the Rose and Kettle Tea Room sessions at Cole Harbour Heritage Farm. She also had the pleasure of performing for Prince Charles and Lady Camilla when they visited Saint John, New Brunswick.
Melanie’s home festival is the Miramichi Folksong Festival. This is the longest running folk festival of its kind in North America. Melanie began performing at the Miramichi Folksong Festival over 25 years ago. All of the music she has performed was inspired by her experience in the acapella singing style typical of the traditional ballads sung at the festival. She credits Susan Butler and especially her folk music mentor Marie Hare for the incredible effect this experience has had on her performance career, and her perspective on music.
With a keen interest in drama and music, musical theatre has been a favoured endeavour for Melanie. She has held lead roles in such well known shows as Oklahoma, and Baby. She has also participated in original productions: Jamboree - A Maritime Musical Revue, the Fall Revue, Sons of Liberty, Unto the Earth, and the Culture Crawl.
Melanie spent time at Grafton Street Dinner Theatre doing original musical theatre shows spanning the eras of the 40’s (Comin’ Home), 50’s (Bobby’s Boppin’ Bandstand), and 60’s (Only the Lonely) as well as a traditional Irish show called Wake Me When It’s Over. She also was involved in a Beatles Tribute show called Can’t Buy Me Love and a Maritime Traditional Show called Mud in Yer Eye.