Born and raised in Miami Florida, 23 year old Melinda Rose Rodriguez knew from a very young age that Music was going to become her life. Melinda started off like any young aspiring musician started off: with general pop music. Going into middle school, she discovered the classical repertoire, and from there trained classically until the age of 17. At 17 years old, she realized that after learning to play the piano and guitar, that popular and classical music did not resonate with her musically. By chance, Melinda fell in love with the music of the 40s, and 50s up until modern jazz. She lent her ear to these styles, and amazing artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Betty Carter etc. The influence of these artists has turned her into the artist she is today.
Throughout high school, Melinda participated in a variety of competitions and music programs. She was a National Young Arts Winner in both 11th and 12th grade. In just the 11th grade, Rodriguez was the national Third-place winner in Michael Feinstein's High School Vocal Competition held in Indianapolis, Indiana each year. As a senior in high school, she received her first Downbeat Student Music Award for Jazz Vocal Solo Performance. Melinda is now a 4 time Downbeat award winner as of 2019. Rodriguez has performed in jazz festivals around the country such as The Benny Golson Jazz Festival, The Litchfield Jazz Festival, and The Miami Downtown Jazz festival. She is currently on staff as a vocal teacher at The Litchfield Jazz Summer camp that precedes the jazz festival each year.
After high school, Melinda applied to, and was accepted into seven of the top schools for jazz vocal performance in the country. She ended up picking her top choice, New England Conservatory where she spent her freshman year of college. Due to family crisis, Melinda returned home to Miami, where she gigged regularly and completed her Undergraduate Degree at Florida International University, studying Jazz voice and Jazz bass.
Melinda has traveled as far as Bermuda and Japan to perform in other festivals and has traveled to perform alongside Michael Feinstein, Cyrille Aimee, Jane Monheit and worked frequently with jazz greats such as Kevin Mahogany. Melinda is the recent 1st place winner in the International Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition which took place in Washington DC in early 2019. Melinda also recently debuted with the Legendary Count Basie Big Band. She currently is currently a teaching artist at The University of Illinois, Millikin University and Illinois Wesleyan University all while pursuing her Masters degree in performance. She performs regularly in the central Illinois area as well as Miami, FL where she is from. Melinda is the embodiment of the jazz tradition, however is constantly putting her own twist on things with her quirky original music as well as use of a refreshing sort of phrasing.
Most recently, you can find Melinda on NBC's hit singing show, The Voice.