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Melanie O'Reilly

Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Melanie O'Reilly

Already firmly established in the pantheon of creative Irish artists, Melanie O’Reilly is recognized as one of Ireland’s international jazz ambassadors and celtic jazz pioneers. Born in Dublin, Melanie comes from a dynasty of musicians and actors. Treading the boards from an early age as an actress and singer, she quickly became a multiple award-winning singer in Dublin’s Feis Ceol competitions.

Melanie had a precocious passion for jazz; by age 11, she was immersing herself in the rhythms and scat improvisations of Ella Fitzgerald as well as the music of other jazz giants such as Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie. Closer to home, she discovered the Foxrock Folk Club, an oasis of local talent where she was introduced to Horslips, the Louis Stewart Trio, and the Chieftains, while discovering the Sean-Nós recordings of Seán O Ríada....
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“Gorgeous sound….celtic cadence with a jazz sensibility” Contra Costa Times, CA, USA

“Spellbinding… uplifting music from a true innovator” Rough Guide to Irish Music

“Extraordinary … whether she sings Irish traditional, jazz or Jacques Prevert” Le Telegramme

“Breathtaking amazing emotional intensity .. sheer virtousity…” The Irish Times

“The Royal voice of Melanies O’Reilly has opened a new door; that of a celtic spirit always ready for new influences, an ancient spirit urgent to enrich itself…” Le Telegramme, France

“An outstanding night of jazz,” (review of Melanie’s performance with Larry Coryell, The Green Room, Dublin) … O’Reilly’s voice is exquisitely controlled and pure…an outstanding collection of songs” Alex Moffat, Irish Times

“A very special talent… I want to do everything I can to expose her beautiful artistry to the rest of the world.” Larry Coryell

“…O’Reilly makes every number her own, gliding effortlessly through rhythmic backbeats, …sultry,… soulful in virtuoso style” Edinburgh Fringe Fest./Unlimited Media

“her lithe and soulful vocals ……and a vivacious, scat-infused What Is This Thing Called Love, while O’Reilly endowed with poignancy and anguish the bittersweet blues of Angel Eyes.” Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman

“…A wondrous mix of what this fine singer is all about – a deep passion for Irish Traditional music and Jazz…with O’Reilly’s voice weaving a spell…” Matt Nugent, Evening Herald

“The golden voice of Melanie O’Reilly … powerful … deeply moving” The Sunday Independent

“Melanie O’Reilly … a kind of priestess marrying traditional and jazz music…” Telefis na Gaeilge

“What better way to drift towards the dawning than in the company of the silky smooth voice of Melanie O’Reilly… her hauntingly beautiful and sensuous voice wooed the audience … close your eyes and you were in dreamland” Aberdeen Review

“A spiritual journey and a musical joy” The Big Issue

[of her live performances] “…her pitch was impeccable, her timing totally secure, her phrasing ineffably right. More than this, however, was perhaps the most essential gift of all – her ability to read a lyric with an innate sense of its dramatic demands and to serve these accordingly.” The Irish Times

“O’Reilly’s sensuous voice is the perfect vehicle for entwining jazz styles with Irish Celtic influences…” The Scotsman

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