Primary Instrument: Piano
Melani Skybell is a vocalist and classically trained pianist, who began her journey in music at the early age of four. As a youth her fascination with singing was immense. Skybell would use the piano as her voice and emotional outlet. Skybell excelled in classical piano, yet her heart was really in singing. She dreamed of being a professional singer, and decided she would use her abilities with piano to get there.
Her formal education includes classical piano and vocal performance at Boston University. In 1984, her on-stage experience blossomed when she joined an alternative pop/rock group, Innocent Bystander, frequently backing up headliners. Innocent Bystander was a regular act in Austin's Sixth Street clubs.
In order to refine her jazz style, Skybell entered the highly reputable University of North Texas Jazz Studies Program. It took very little time for her to build a reputation vocally. Her solid performances and warm and inviting vocal delivery set her apart immediately. Rapidly she became a first call vocalist among many of the area's jazz orchestras, including a performance at Caravan of Dreams with the University of Texas Jazz Orchestra.
This work enabled Melani to assemble a group of the area's most gifted musicians, with whom she now entertains at Dallas' hottest clubs, hotels and restaurants, including, The Melrose Hotel, The Mansion, The Four Seasons, and Texas Stadium. She is also in demand outside of Dallas, having recently performed at special events in Atlanta, Georgia, Jamaica, and The Chautauqua Institute in New York.
As a soloist, her unique interpretation of classic jazz uplifts her audiences with rich vocal nuances and charm. Whether she is swinging hard on her up tempos, or warming your heart with her intimate ballads, or well crafted original material, Melani Skybell delivers the goods with style and flair. While breakthroughability may not be a word, according to Webster, Melani Skybell's musical talent certainly should compel the editors of today's New World Dictionary to consider adding it to the book.
Melani combines her sensual style and compelling interpretations with respect for the tradition of classic jazz. Her first recording, Through the Years, is in its third printing, and her second release, My Heart Sings, is quickly climbing in sales right behind her freshman release. VH1 recently bought the rights to one of her tracks, “Papa Loves Mambo” (featured on My Heart Sings), which was used for the soundtrack of their movie, “30 Days Until I’m Famous.” Her 3rd CD, Life Is The Song, has received rave reviews, “…Skybell’s most intimate recording to date.” Her new CD, Just A Chase Away, features 8 of her original compositions, with soulful lyrics, polished production and arrangements bringing Skybell full circle as not only a performer but an accomplished composer. Her sound is unforced and maintains that effortless style and flow.
Skybell is an independent artist that exudes the qualities and crossover appeal of major label talent. Her latest offering will draw you in closer to the core of her essence and abilities, a true addition to any jazz collection.
Just a Chase Away
Tracks: Just A Chase Away; Days Like This; Let's Get Away; Got You On My Mind;The Stars In Your eyes; Dreamflight; It Could Happen To You; Simple Life Worth Living; The First Time; I'm Just A Lucky So and So; Nothing Is Too Wonderful To Be True.
Personnel: Melani Skybell: piano,vocals. Sam Walker: guitar. Kyp Green: bass. Roy Snodgrass: drums. Pete Brewer: tenor sax, soprano sax, flute. Jorge Ginorio: percussion. Steve Browne: flugelhorn, additional percussion.
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