Born: October 17, 1965 Primary Instrument: Drums
Mike Melito hails from Rochester, NY where he keeps an active perfomance, recording, and teaching schedule. Mike comes from a very musical family and started playing at a very early age. He studied with RPO percusionist John McNeill from 5th grade to 11th grade. He credits McNeill with providing him a strong foundation with the drums and invaluable lessons on music in general. Mike's older brother Tom is also a jazz drummer based in NYC for over 20 years. He helped Mike in every aspect of jazz drumming. His father and other brother Chris both play trumpet and played an important role in Mike becoming a musician. They have encouraged him to study hard, listen to the greats and above all be swingin!! Mike names Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Art Taylor, Billy Higgins, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb and Papa Jo Jones as main influences. Mike started his professional career at age 16 playing with Vibraphonist Joe Locke and saxophonist Joe Romano in his hometown of Rochester. Work then started to snowball for Mike, he started getting calls to play all over upstate NY. He started leading a jam session in the mid 80's at the now defunct Rochester jazz room Indigos. He continued to lead many groups in the 90's as well as freelancing. In 1997 he released his first of three critically acclaimed CDs called MY CONCEPTION. From there he started to appear on a lot of CDs as a sideman and in 2001 released his second CD BOUT TIME. His latest effort is called THE NEXT STEP which was released in 2005. Over the years he's gone on to perform with names such as James Moody, Barry Harris, JR Monterose, Gene Bertoncini, Johnny Frigo, Phil Flanigan, Harold Danko, Chuck Mangione, Chris Potter, Eric Alexander, Fred Wesley, Danilo Perez, Cyrus Chestnut, Jon Faddis, Vincent Herring, David Hazeltine, Harry Allen, Pat LaBarbera and many more. He continues to maintain a large private teaching practice.