Mel Flannery is a Brooklyn-based singer and composer. She is constantly in pursuit of irons to stick in the fire.
Born in Green Bay, Wis. and raised in Appleton, Wis., Melanie has had the privilege of being surrounded by music her entire life. Her father was born a prodigy of music and the written word in the north woods of Wisconsin. She studied classical voice from age 12, with an immediate affinity for atonal and dissonant music. She cut her performance teeth playing coffee shops, weddings and area venues with her dad accompanying her on the guitar. The two of them put out two albums of primarily covers by the time Mel had graduated high school. The valley where Mel was raised held arts education in high esteem which allowed her countless performance opportunities and prepared her for the rigors of auditioning to music conservatories. Melanie chose to attend Manhattan School of Music in the Fall of 2002 where she would be one of two Undergraduate Vocal Jazz Performance Majors in her class. Her history in classical music afforded her opportunities performing the works of the lauded Classical Composition department of MSM, TACTUS, a new music collective, as well as the Jazz Composition department and as a soloist with the award winning MSM big bands.
At age 19, during her sophomore year at MSM, Melanie was coaxed into starting a band based around her own compositions by bassist Matt Aronoff which became the band Mel Flannery Trucking Co. From 2003 to 2010 the band recorded three albums (Halogen Records), played New York venues such as the Cutting Room, the Bitter End, and Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. The band toured as well playing prestigious venues like World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles, and BB Kings in Nashville. Her work in MFTC garnered her SingersUniverse.com’s Best Voice award, featured on Sonicbids.com as an “I Am Sonicbids” artist, and was featured on AOLMusic.com’s Full CD Listening Party for the album “As It Turns Out.”
As a songwriter she and long-term songwriting partner and band member Lee Pardini were nominated for the Just Plain Folks Best Song in the Jazz Category in 2009 for their song “Fairy Tales” and received an Honorable Mention from Billboard World Song Competition for their song “White Flag”. Their song “We’re Still Here” has been used by Proud Ally, a non profit organization working towards LGBTQ rights as their anthem for Marriage Equality.
More than a solo artist and bandleader, Mel relishes the opportunity to do background vocals for live and recorded projects. Hailed as “One-take Wanda,” Melanie takes pride in being fast and efficient in the studio. She is a fast learner and sight reader, offers solid input and ideas when requested, and takes direction well. Her vast training affords her great versatility and a large range, providing limitless options for whatever the project requires. In live performances Mel’s energy and enthusiasm is apparent while being respectful of whichever artist she is supporting. She is never one to upstage another performer and thrives in ensemble formats. She is delighted to have the opportunity to work with artists like Nigel Hall, Soulive, Alecia Chakour, Michael Day, Nees and Vos and Jesus on the Mainline among others as well as the company HUMAN worldwide.
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