Born: February 22, 1970 Primary Instrument: Drums
George Mel has worked as a freelance drummer and percussionist in New York City since late 2000. While in New York, he has performed at such landmark venues as Carnegie Hall; Blue Note, NYC;Irridium,NYC; The Kitano,NYC; Zinc Bar, NYC; 55Bar, NYC; The Bitter End, NYC; Smalls, NYC; Smoke,NYC; Jazz Standard,NYC; The Deer Head Inn, Delaware Water Gap, PA; World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA; among others. Over the years George has performed both in the USA and Internationally with such diverse group of world-class artists of all generations as Duane Eubanks (trumpet), Bob Rodriguez (piano), Mark Helias (bass), Leni Stern (guitar/ voice),Essiet Essiet(bass), Valeri Ponomarev (trumpet), Avishai E.Cohen (trumpet), Emilio Solla (piano),Gabriel Grossi(harmonica), Enrique Haneine(piano),Jesse Murphy (bass Brazilian Girls), John Ellis (sax),Daniel Santiago(guitar), Raul Midon (guitar/voice), Wayne Escoffery (sax), Freddie Bryant (guitar), Edsel Gomez (piano), Nilson Matta (bass), Lionel Loueke (guitar/voice), Craig Handy (sax), Badal Roy (tablas w/Miles Davis),Sergio Brandao(bass),Victor Prieto(accordeon),Anat Cohen(sax), jazz clarinet legend Perry Robinson,Brazilian piano legend Dom Salvador and countless other top musicians from all-over the world.
Born George 'Gia' Melikishvili, George Mel is a native of Tbilisi, Georgia, where at a young age he taught himself to play the drums. Western music was seen by the communist establishment as subversive and George kept music as a hobby, quietly forming underground rockband Limousine with other forward thinking locals. The subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union brought an instant dissolution of the strict prohibitions on western culture and virtually overnight, Limousine found itself catapulted to national recognition. Limousine instantly graduated from the basement of a local university building to playing large concert halls, major rock festivals,receiving major award and nominations, and appearing on national radio and television. The fame was short-lived, though, as Georgia erupted into civil war shortly thereafter, pushing George to emmigrate to Holland, where he performed for several years as sideman to EMI recording artist Wendy Sheridan and Walter Trout of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers among others. Years into life as a professional musician, George finally received his first formal musical education after being offered a scholarship to the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA , going on to become the first Georgian-born musician to graduate with a degree in Jazz Performance in the United States. Upon graduating, George relocated to New York City, quickly establishing himself as one of the most versatile and in-demand drummers & percussionists on the scene. Based on all of the above and George’s contributions to the arts in the U.S.A., as well as his fantastic reputation among the world class colleagues earned by years of work of the highest standard as a sidemen as well as a leader, the American Federation Of Musicians and the US Government unconditionally granted George Melikishvili highly prestigious “Extraordinary Abilities in The Arts” category status of permanent residency in the United States in 2007. George released his first album as a leader and composer with 2004's Winding Road , which features six original compositions that reflect George’s deeply personal view that music should exist as a human expression of beauty and emotion through sound, rather than simply serviing market-defined labels and conventional definitions and Jazz in particular, as an improv and interplay on a winding road of unknowns that requires an open mind from both the artist and the listener. George Mel’s current release “Streams Of Conciousness” recorded in 2010,naturally follows the same philosophy and is a result of his further artistic development into new and truly original voice in today’s Jazz,-both as an instrumentalist and composer.
New York, NY
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Private Instruction. All levels welcome. Advanced preferred.Teaching methods are custom designed for each student according to ability,level,etc. Limited number of students. Rates: beginner-intermediate = $60 per 1 hour lesson , advanced = $100 per 1 hour lesson M-F 11am-6pm