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About Melinda

Learn all about Melinda, an experienced vocalist and educator who has been active in Miami Boston, Illinois, and now Washington DC for more than ten years. Keep reading find out more!

My Story

Born and raised in Miami Florida, 28 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 a recent 1st place winner in the International Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition which took place in Washington DC in early 2019. Melinda also debuted with the Legendary Count Basie Big Band in 2019. 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. 

Ms. Rose spent 2018-20 as a teaching artist at The University of Illinois, Millikin University and Illinois Wesleyan University all while pursuing her Masters degree in performance. 2020 showed promise for Melinda as she debuted at legendary clubs across the country such as Birdland Jazz Club in New York City and Andy's Jazz Club in the heart of Chicago, IL. She was also the winner of the Ben Tucker Jazz Award and Johnny Mercer Award in the prestigious American Traditions Vocal Competition held annually in Savannah, GA. Melinda Rodriguez was most recently a contestant on Season 17 of NBC's hit singing show, The Voice where she worked closely with Kelly Clarkson.

 

Upon re-entering a post-covid world, Melinda was the recent People's Choice Award winner in the 2022 American Traditions Vocal competition and debuted with The Asheville Symphony Orchestra in late April 2022.  As of 2023, Melinda was selected as the first ever commercial vocalist of the US Army Blues Big Band in Washington, DC. She is the first singer to ever serve this element of The United States Army Band in its 51 year existence. Ms. Rose was also competed once again in the 2024 American Traditions Vocal Competition where she was awarded 4th place and The Ben Tucker Jazz Award. . In June 2023, Melinda recorded her debut album, I'm On My Way, featuring original compositions and standard repertoire. The album is set to release in Early 2024. 

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