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Sun Sep 23 20:33This version of “Onde Ir” by Vanessa da Mata was so good, I didn’t mind that james.e.reynolds did it without me! Fe… https://t.co/0q4ueykHKs
Thu Sep 20 15:13Thanks @perezjazz for being at the55bar last night! I had such fun digging in with my band james.e.reynolds shapeso… https://t.co/DnCtkRJFCY
Tue Sep 18 20:00Excited to hear the james.e.reynolds trio this Sunday at noon, while enjoying what is sure to be a fantastic brunch… https://t.co/wMxWoB6Q6o
Mon Sep 17 20:40Just taught my first student of the semester here at @92y in the beautiful new School of Music facility. So nice to… https://t.co/ELNBoFneog
Fri Sep 14 18:59Thanks for the free cake @oslocoffee and Happy Birthday! I’m going to be full of caffeine and glucose for my rehear… https://t.co/nPrmy92LC9
Wed Sep 12 01:19Excited to tour with these fellas in November. Check out this new @ikesturm piece (words and music) with… https://t.co/L9WnKKOPFN
Mon Sep 10 19:55September News: Sept. 19 at 55 Bar NYC * Sept. 28 & 29 with DUCHESS in NC! - https://t.co/kcXBSZWgkk https://t.co/ubuDzyDtfI
Fri Sep 07 13:35I’m so excited to re-join the vocal faculty of the @92y School of Music on Monday, and can’t wait to teach in one o… https://t.co/XZKluVGebK

Latest News

September 10, 2018New album in the works with Gene Bertoncini and Ike Sturm!Over the course of a few days in August, we recorded 16 or so tunes at a lovely studio in Stamford, CT called Ambient Recording Co. I am excited to share the music with you and I'll let you know more about it as things progress. In the meantime, please save the date Tuesday Oct. 2 and come hear us play at Mezzrow (or stream it online if you're not in NYC)!
May 4, 2018Shows and recording with Gene Bertoncini & Ike Sturm !Gene, Ike, and I have been playing together for over 3 years and we are looking forward to a busy month or so as we get ready to record an album together! If you're in town May 17, stop by 55 Bar to cheer us on as we fine-tune our rep list, including plenty of swinging standards and fun interplay!
January 5, 2018DUCHESS at Winter JazzFest Jan. 12 at DjangoDUCHESS will be playing on the Hot Jazz Stage on Friday Jan. 12 at 6:50 at Django for Winter JazzFest.
May 14, 201755 Bar and Kitano Jazz this monthI'm excited to play with two different groups this month: Wednesday May 17 at 55 Bar with my band (Jamie Reynolds, Pete McCann, Gary Wang, Jared Schonig) with special guest Wendy Gilles. Then, on Friday May 26, I get to play with jazz legend Gene Bertoncini and Ike Sturm at Kitano! Hope to see my NYC-based friends this month!
March 13, 2017Duchess comes to Toronto March 23 - 25!We're returning to Jazz Bistro in Toronto to celebrate our new album "Laughing at Life" Thursday March 23 through Saturday March 25. Get your tickets now!
January 2, 2017DUCHESS plays APAP Showcase Jan. 5 at 55 Bar 7pmLooking forward to bringing #girlongirlharmony back to the place where it all began: 55 Bar in NYC. Hoping to see many friends from near and far, as this gig coincides with 3 conferences/festivals: JazzConnect, APAP, and WinterJazzFest!
September 7, 2016Throwback Thursday to the time Harry Connick Jr. sat in with meThe other day, I read an article my friend pianist/photographer Bill King wrote for the online magazine FYImusicnews.ca in which he recalls the time Harry Connick Jr. and many of his bandmembers sat in on my gig at The Rex Hotel in Toronto. It was June 20, 1999. Bill was there that night and happened to snap a few photos. It was a great evening and I got a thrill playing tunes with a musician I'd been a fan of for so long (and still am). Click the link below to read the article, and go to my facebook page to see the photos: www.facebook.com/melissastylianou
July 19, 201655 Bar July 20 with Special Guest Godwin Louis!Just over a year ago, I had the opportunity to play with Godwin at a Vespers service at St. Peter's, where I sing almost every Sunday. We had a great hookup and I love his sound and his deep sense of swing, and I proceeded to fold him into as many of my NYC gigs as possible. Come hear him with my band Wednesday July 20 at 55 Bar at 7 & 8:15pm (no cover - 2 drink min.)!
June 6, 2016DUCHESS in the studio * CA tour * July 1 in Toronto!I've been "offline" for a bit, but back at it and excited about a full summer of music making. Amy, Hilary, and I went back into Sear Sound to record the second DUCHESS album and it is sounding so great! You can look for more #girlongirlharmony this fall. In a few weeks, we head to northern California for a tour of 4 cities (Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, Sausalito, and Oakland). More info here: www.duchesstrio.com. And on Canada Day (July 1), I'll be guesting with Heather Bambrick at The Home Smith Bar in Toronto for my first Toronto Jazz Festival show in a while.

Thanks for visiting and hope to see you soon!

March 21, 2016DUCHESS is making a NEW CD - Join the Party!Some of you visiting this website have already experienced the hijinks, hilarity, and harmony that comprise Duchess (myself, Hilary Gardner, and Amy Cervini), the Boswell Sisters-inspired 3 part harmony group I'm a part of. For the rest of you, I urge you to grab an earful of #girlongirlharmony over at www.duchesstrio.com. We three are so excited to be heading back into the studio later this spring to record the followup to our debut album "Duchess" on Anzic Records. Thanks to an incredible 2015, we're part way there with the budget, but we need the help of our friends and fans to make the album we want you to hear. We have just launched a Kickstarter campaign and I wanted you kind, music-loving folks to hear about it right away. Click the link below to see our project page.

And for those of you in NYC, please drop by our 4 week residency at 55 Bar (March 23, 30 and April 6 * 7-9pm) to hear us swinging through BRAND NEW material for the album!

January 11, 2016Melissa Stylianou Group at 55 Bar Jan. 20The first Melissa Stylianou Group show of 2016 will be at our monthly hang, 55 Bar. 7-9pm - No Cover. With Jamie Reynolds, Pete McCann, Gary Wang, and Zach Harmon.
December 8, 2015Back from Israel with Duchess - playing 2 shows next week in NYCI had a marvelous time with the ladies of Duchess (Amy Cervini and Hilary Gardner) last week in Israel. We played 3 shows (including a little pop-up show with yours truly playing baritone uke), met some lovely people, ate great food, drank some Israeli anise-flavored booze, and danced like crazy fools. It was awesome and I can't wait to go back. In the meantime, I'm here at home, getting ready for two shows next week and a couple more Duchess hits before the new year! Hope to see you New Yorkers out there...
November 24, 2015Duchess special guest of Wycliffe Gordon at Dizzy's Wed. Nov. 25We're thrilled to be the guests of the fabulous Wycliffe Gordon during this Thanksgiving Week residency at Dizzy's. Tickets are going fast!
October 14, 2015DUCHESS to play acoustic show Oct. 16 in NYCThe ladies of Duchess are excited to bring #girlongirlharmony to the beautiful concert hall at The Rubin Museum in NYC this Friday Oct. 16. Show at 7pm, tickets $25. Click link to see a preview of the show on www.zealnyc.com
September 28, 2015Back in town - and busy!Duchess had a rollicking good time in California, and now I'm back in NYC ready to play and listen to some great music. Oct. 5 I'll be at Bar Next Door with Orlando LeFleming and Mark Ferber, and October 21, I'm at 55 Bar with my quintet (Pete McCann, Jamie Reynolds, Gary Wang and Jared Schonig)!
September 5, 2015Playing two shows in the next 4 days in NYC!I'm excited to be playing music with some incredible people over the next week . Sunday Sept. 6 I'll be at St. Peter's Church with vocalist Magos Herrera, Jamie Reynolds on piano, Hans Glawischnig on bass, and Rogerio Boccato on percussion. 5pm at St. Peter's Church at 619 Lexington Ave, NYC. Then on Wednesday Sept. 9, I'm playing at 55 Bar (55 Christopher St.) from 7-9pm with Jamie Reynolds (Wurlitzer), Orlando LeFleming (bass) and Special Guest Steve Wilson on alto saxophone Hope to see my NYC friends there.
September 2, 2015Back from Vacation!I had a marvelous time in Canada with family in August, and in Maine with friends - lots of lake- and sea-side hangs and plenty of ice cream! Now, back in the heat of NYC, we're refreshed and ready to make some music. Check the calendar for the updated Fall schedule!
August 4, 2015Final show of Summer! Friday Aug. 7 at 55 Bar, NYCI'm excited to be welcoming vocalist Magos Herrera and alto saxophone player Godwin Louis to our monthly hang at 55 Bar this Friday. We start at 6pm and we'll play original songs and a couple of Spanish and Brazilian songs as well.
June 28, 2015Back in town after wildly successful DUCHESS festival tour!It has been a whirlwind 2 weeks, travelling with two of my favorite people, Amy Cervini and Hilary Gardner. We brought #girlongirlharmony to jazz festival and club crowds in Ottawa, Boston, Toronto, Rochester, and Saratoga. In just a few weeks, we'll head out to the Pacific NW for a handful of shows. In the meantime, I'm prepping for my part in a lovely Canada Day show on July 1 at Cornelia Street Cafe singing the songs of Joni Mitchell. Hope to see my NY friends there!
June 15, 2015Time Change for 55 Bar Show Wed. June 17 - 10pmWe've moved up to the 10pm time slot this Wednesday June 17 for our show at 55 Bar. Join us for two sets of originals and standards featuring the Quintet plus Special Guest Godwin Louis on alto sax!
June 7, 2015Stylianou/Ferber/LeFleming at Bar Next Door June 8My chord-less trio featuring bassist Orlando LeFleming and drummer Mark Ferber, is back at the Greenwich Village listening room, Bar Next Door. Two sets 8:30 and 10:30pm, cover $12
May 18, 201555 Bar Wednesday * Toronto and Waterloo Fri. & Sat.I'll be playing at my monthly residency at 55 Bar this Wednesday May 20 with my fabulous band: Jamie Reynolds, Pete McCann, Gary Wang, and Mark Ferber. The next day, Jamie and I pack up Bayly and drive to Toronto, for two shows with my Canadian quartet (Jamie on piano, Dan Fortin on bass, Nick Fraser on drums), celebrating my latest album "No Regrets". Check the calendar page for details on this mini-tour!
May 15, 2015DUCHESS plays last show of the Spring at Cafe Noctambulo May 16Tickets are going fast for this vocal trio's last show in NYC until mid-July! Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and I will be joined on Sat. May 16 by: Jamie Reynolds - piano, Matt Aronoff - bass, and Willard Dyson - drums.
May 5, 2015DUCHESS plays Sinatrathon May 9 at Cutting RoomThe gals of DUCHESS are happy to be involved in this all-day event, celebrating Ol' Blue Eyes. We'll be singing a tune or two during the afternoon at The Cutting Room, and then we'll debut a brand new Oded Lev-Ari arrangement of "Here's to the Losers" with a big band in the evening. Click below for tickets and more info.
March 23, 2015New DUCHESS Tour Dates Just Announced!DUCHESS (Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and myself) had a blast celebrating the release of our debut album at Jazz Standard March 3, and now we're preparing for a busy summer of touring, including dates in Canada (Ottawa Jazz Festival), and at the Saratoga Jazz Festival. Click on the Calendar page for details or head to the DUCHESS website.
February 17, 2015DUCHESS debut album out TODAY!Today's the day! The debut album by DUCHESS (aka: myself, Amy Cervini, and Hilary Gardner) is released on Anzic Records. Pick up a copy now at the Anzic Store, iTunes, or Amazon!
February 17, 2015Playing Wed. Feb. 18 at 55 Bar, NYC with Special Guest Loren StillmanThe band is happy to be back at our monthly residency at 55 Bar, where we've played the third Wednesday of each month for over 6 years! This month, we are joined by alto saxophone player Loren Stillman. Join us at 55 Bar, 55 Christopher St. 7-9pm No Cover Wed. Feb. 18!
February 13, 2015Tickets on Sale NOW for DUCHESS CD ReleaseTuesday March 3, 2015 at Jazz Standard, NYC - you'll want to get your tickets early for the big party! The new album comes out Feb. 17, there's been some fabulous early press, and the gals (Hilary Gardner, Amy Cervini, and yours truly) are very excited. Get your tickets now.
January 19, 2015Getting ready to return to 55 Bar Residency WednesdayI'm very excited to be reconvening with my bandmates: Jamie Reynolds on Nord, Pete McCann on guitar, Gary Wang on bass, and Mark Ferber on drums. We resume our monthly residency at 55 Bar this Wednesday from 7-9pm (no cover, 2 drink min.). We hope to see our NYC friends there as we try out some new tunes and arrangements!
January 15, 2015New Reviews for No Regrets!Chris Smith of the Winnipeg Free Press just published a 4 star review of the album! Click below to read or head to the "about" section of the site and scroll down!
January 1, 2015January Shows in NYCDUCHESS plays Jan. 4 at Birdland at 6pm, guests with Amy Cervini at 55 Bar Jan. 8 at 7pm, Melissa Stylianou Quartet resumes 55 Bar residency Jan. 21, and "No Regrets" band (Bruce Barth, Linda Oh, Matt Wilson) play St. Peter's Jan. 25. Whew!
December 11, 2014Sign up for my Newsletter!Are you on the list? If not, sign up NOW! There are special holiday treats in store for subscribers only. Click Below to JOIN.
December 11, 2014NYC Release Show Photos Just Added!Click on over to the Media page and check out some photos from our NYC Release show Dec. 2 at Jazz Standard. All photos by Jeff Evans.
December 8, 2014Interview with Rich Keith being re-broadcast Tues. Dec. 9ICYMI - my interview from Monday Dec. 8 with Rich Keith at www.purejazzradio.com will be re-broadcast at 1am, 8am, and 4pm on Tuesday Dec. 9. Click the link below and find the "ON AIR" button to listen to our conversation about "No Regrets", my jazz beginnings in Toronto, living in NYC, and DUCHESS.
December 7, 2014No Regrets Celebrated in NYC at Jazz Standard
November 29, 2014Melissa in NYTimes!I got my very first mention in the New York Times - Nate Chinen thinks you should check us out next week when we celebrate the release of No Regrets with a show at Jazz Standard. "On her casually charming new album, Ms. Stylianou ratifies her stature as a jazz singer with a comfortable and thoughtful relationship to the standard songbook."
November 22, 2014Final Night of Toronto CD Release Shows SOLD OUTWe are having a ball playing at Jazz Bistro in Toronto. We had a great house last night and I just got word that tonight's show is SOLD OUT for the first set (you can still reserve for the 10:30 and midnight sets). We'll be joined by special guests Tara Davidson on alto saxophone and vocalist Maureen Kennedy.
November 7, 2014DUCHESS sits in with Jane Monheit Nov. 16 at Birdland!DUCHESS (that's Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner, and me) will be guesting with the fabulous Jane Monheit at Birdland for Jane's Jazz Party on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 6pm!
November 5, 2014DUCHESS Thursday night at 55 Bar!Thursday Nov. 6th is the second-to-last night of our Autumn Residency at 55 Bar. Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and myself playing swinging arrangements by Oded Lev-Ari with a great band in Greenwich Village. 7-9pm No Cover!
November 2, 2014No Regrets Now AvailableMy new album No Regrets (Anzic Records) is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and at the Anzic Store. You can hear samples of the full recording here!
October 31, 2014DUCHESS plays final 55 Bar Residency ShowsThursday Nov. 6 and Wed. Nov. 19 7-9pm at 55 Bar (55 Christopher St.)
It's been a riot so far, and we're looking forward to bringing hijinks and hilarity to the last two shows of the year for DUCHESS!

October 28, 2014No Regrets Released Today - on iTunes New and Noteworthy List!Well, today's the day! No Regrets was released on Anzic Records, and immediately made it on to the New and Noteworthy list on iTunes! Thanks to everyone for their support and hard work getting us here.
October 26, 2014No Regrets featured on WBGO's "Radar"For the week preceding the release, you will be able to stream the complete album on WBGO.org. Check it out and read the review.

October 26, 2014Featured on Hilary Gardner's blog Ad Alta VoceMy firend (and DUCHESS-mate) Hilary Gardner interviewed me for her excellent blog Ad Alta Voce, where we cover my beginnings in this crazy world of music, as well as the upcoming album release. Have a gander - you'll find out some stuff about me you didn't know!
October 18, 2014No Regrets Now Available for Pre-Order!In less than two weeks, my new album "No Regrets" is being released on Anzic Records (Oct. 28!), and it is available for Pre-Order NOW on iTunes, and at the Anzic Records Store. When you pre-order, you will receive two tracks right away: "Nice Work if You Can Get It", and "A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues", featuring the amazing trio of Bruce Barth on piano, Linda Oh on bass, and Matt Wilson on drums. "Nightingale" features Billy Drewes on alto sax as well, and I'm happy to announce that these fine folks will be joining me to celebrate the release at our NYC CD Release Party Tuesday December 2 at Jazz Standard. Oh, and I'll be celebrating the release in Canada, too, with a 3-night engagement at the beautiful Jazz Bistro in Toronto Nov. 20 - 22, so spread the word!
October 15, 2014DUCHESS Fall Residency Continues and “No Regrets” CD Release Shows in TO and NYC!This promises to be one the busiest Falls yet for me, as DUCHESS continues a twice-monthly residency at 55 Bar in NYC, and my new record “No Regrets” (Anzic Records, Oct. 28, 2014!) is celebrated with shows on both sides of the border.
“Melissa Stylianou is an original… A gifted composer and an appealing singer.” — DownBeat

Jazz singer Melissa Stylianou has been turning heads and capturing hearts since the turn of this century, from her native Toronto to her adopted home of New York City, from intimate club residencies to top festival stages. She has won fans far and wide with her recording projects, along with praise from DownBeat to The New Yorker. Stylianou’s newest album – No Regrets, her fifth disc and second for the New York-based Anzic Records – is about the joy of spontaneity and making the most of the moment. She recorded a set of jazz standards and other favorites in a live-to-two-track, noon-to-night studio session backed by a simpatico trio of New York all-stars: pianist Bruce Barth, double-bassist Linda Oh and drummer Matt Wilson, with stylish guest spots by clarinetist Anat Cohen and alto saxophonist Billy Drewes. As ever, Stylianou’s singing is a delight, reinforcing the description by Grammy-nominated pianist Fred Hersch, who says: “Melissa has it all – a gorgeous instrument, superb musicianship and great taste.”

The New Yorker has described Stylianou as “an affecting jazz singer with a taste for choice material,” and her previous albums have seen the vocalist put a personal spin on songs from Björk and Joanna Newsom to Johnny Cash to Tom Waits, not to mention her own lovely original compositions. Jazz standards have been a part of the mix, too, but No Regrets sees Stylianou delve into vintage material like never before. She sings songs by likes of the Gershwins, Jerome Kern and Duke Ellington, along with a Billie Holiday tune, a lyrical twist on Thelonious Monk, the indigo-hued chestnut “A Nightingale Can Sing the Blues” and even Anglo-folk tune “Down By the Salley Gardens.”

“This album, both the material and the way we recorded it, are very different from my previous four – it’s like coming full circle for me,” Stylianou explains. “Singing jazz standards in clubs was how I learned to be a singer. Spontaneity and a sense of play were the rule in that environment, and I absorbed the style naturally.” No Regrets is the sound of Stylianou letting go and “having the most fun I’ve ever had in a recording studio,” she says. “The title No Regrets refers to that sense of leaping in, being fully yourself and taking risks without second-guessing. The session felt so free. Everybody approached the music seriously – but without taking ourselves too seriously. There was a blend of humor and urgency, as if we were playing a really great gig in the studio.”

In the JazzTimes review of Stylianou’s previous Anzic album – Silent Movie, from 2012– the magazine declared that she had advanced to “the forefront of contemporary vocalists, rivaling the storytelling élan of Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon.” Silent Movie saw Stylianou concentrate on conveying intimate, evocative stories in song, backed by a collective of top musicians from the New York scene. Adding her own lyrics, she breathed fresh emotional life into instrumental pieces by Edgar Meyer and Vince Mendoza, and the disc’s affecting, revealing title track was a Stylianou co-composition with her husband, pianist Jamie Reynolds. Elsewhere on the album, she renewed numbers long beloved in jazz – “Smile,” “Moon River,” “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” – even as she kept broadening the field by putting a distinctive spin on songs by James Taylor (“Something in the Way She Moves”), Paul Simon (“Hearts and Bones”), Johnny Cash (“I Still Miss Someone”) and Joanna Newsom (“Swansea”). Stylianou said: “I’ve always been drawn to songs as ‘small stories.’ Silent Movie was all about focusing on telling those stories.”

After making a name with standards on her 1999 debut album, It Never Entered My Mind, Stylianou showed a flair for expanding the jazz songbook. Her 2001 release, Bachelorette, juxtaposed tunes by Thelonious Monk and Fats Waller with the Björk title track and songs by Sting and Tom Waits – all delivered with the singer’s signature charm and musicality. Sliding Down, her rhythmically sophisticated 2006 album, featured another rich blend of the classic and the contemporary, with “Them There Eyes” and the Beatles’ “Blackbird” set alongside striking original tunes. JazzTimes magazine was impressed: “An exotically sultry `All of You’ and a gorgeously dreamy `That Ole Devil Called Love’ make her a standards-bearer worth watching. But it is Stylianou’s artfully imagined originals, ranging from the down-home zest of `Mary's in the Tub’ to the emotional wreckage of the title track, that shift her from engaging to captivating.”

At the 55 Bar in Manhattan’s West Village – where Stylianou has had a residency since 2008 – the singer regularly explores new material with her colorful, interactive group: pianist Jamie Reynolds, guitarist Pete McCann, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Mark Ferber. Stylianou has also long been a member of Ike Sturm’s ensemble Evergreen, singing original jazz settings of sacred music at St. Peter’s Church in Manhattan. Underscoring her more venturesome, improvisational side, she has been the featured vocalist with Gregg Bendian’s Mahavishnu Project, dedicated to performing the music of John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. To Stylianou, the Mahavishnu Project offered “a different kind of intensity to what I do on my own,” she says. “It’s the hardest music I’ve ever performed but also some of the most rewarding. The material is rhythmically complex, demands a lot of improvising, and it gets thrillingly loud at times. I sweat a little doing it, which is good for any performer. But, really, it can be just as unsettling to sing a ballad in a place like the 55 Bar. That kind of intimate vulnerability is its own challenge.”

In New York, Stylianou has sung on the most prestigious stages, from Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, Blue Note, Birdland and Jazz Standard to the 55 Bar, Smoke, Sweet Rhythm, Iridium, Cutting Room and Cornelia Street Café. Having earned a glowing reputation among the most discerning audiences, critics and peers, Stylianou has performed with such top jazz talents as Matt Wilson, Joel Frahm, Anat Cohen, Bruce Barth,Gary Versace, Ben Monder, Steve Cardenas, Pete McCann, Chris Lightcap, Cameron Brown, Linda Oh, John Hart, Keith Ganz, Mark Ferber, Orlando le Fleming and Gene Bertoncini, as well as with Helen Sung’s Sung With Words project, Joe Phillips’ large ensemble Numinous, Premik Russell Tubbs’ Bangalore Breakdown, the Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra and the David Schumacher Group. Stylianou also teaches Music Together classes to young children, as well as voice at the 92nd Street Y.

“Being a jazz musician has taught me so much, even beyond the music,” Stylianou says. “I’m a something of a perfectionist by nature, but jazz has taught me to embrace imperfection and the possibilities it offers, the adventure of living in the moment.”


No Regrets
Melissa Stylianou

Silent Movie
Melissa Stylianou

Sliding Down
Melissa Stylianou

Melissa Stylianou

It Never Entered My Mind...
Melissa Stylianou



Mahavishnu Re-Defined Vol. 2
Various Artists

Mahavnishnu Re-Defined
Various Artists

Torch Light Vol. 1
Real Divas

Zach Brock and the Coffee Achievers



Given Canadian-in-New-York Melissa Stylianou’s recording trajectory—four previous albums of steadily increasing authority and ingenuity—it’s hardly surprising that No Regrets is so extraordinarily good. Gone are Stylianou’s usual accompanists, replaced by an all-star trio of pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Matt Wilson. Two equally stellar players—alto saxophonist Billy Drewes and clarinetist Anat Cohen (also featured on Stylianou’s prior release, 2012’s Silent Movie)—each guest on two tracks.

Everything is intentionally old-school. The standards-heavy track list combines sturdy chestnuts—the Gershwins’ “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” Ellington’s “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)”—with less-familiar gems like Dick Charles and Larry Marks’ “A Nightingale Can Sing the Blues” and Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr.’s “Somebody’s on My Mind.” The actual recordings, masterminded by Oded Lev-Ari, were done live to two-track in one marathon session that lasted from midday ’til the wee hours: no edits, overdubs or technologic chicanery.

The mood is soft and easy, Stylianou and company settling into a smoky, half-past-midnight coziness. Her readings are invariably cunning, with all five bandmates crafting integrally thoughtful abetment: the gently propulsive bassline Oh floats beneath “I Wish I Knew,” the subdued wistfulness of Cohen’s clarinet on “I’ll Never Be the Same,” the fairytale lilt of Barth and Wilson’s interplay on “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” the fluttering yearn of Drewes’ sax on “I Got It Bad.” Smart. Seamless. Stunning.Christopher LoudonJazzTimes Magazine
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No Regrets (Anzic)
Melissa Stylianou

Released late last month, No Regrets marks a striking shift in approach, if not exactly in direction, for vocalist Melissa Stylianou.

The Brooklyn-based Canadian expat’s previous disc, Silent Movie, was a lush studio outing with a contemporary sonic profile and repertoire. No Regrets is more old school, having been recorded live off the floor to two-track and featuring a more obvious grounding in both jazz standards and swinging.

On both recordings, Stylianou’s honeyed voice and nuanced, versatile delivery shine. Joined by the elite rhythm section of Bruce Barth at the piano, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Matt Wilson (and his magic ride cymbal), Stylianou takes grand tours of such songs as Nice Work If You Can Get It, I Wish I Knew and a waltzing Polka Dots and Moonbeams. The ballads I Got It Bad and especially I’ll Never Be The Same are exceptionally rendered, with Stylianou and company absolutely flourishing and lucid at slow, yet swinging, tempos.

On I’ll Never Be The Same, and the Somebody’s On My Mind, clarinetist Anat Cohen guests, bringing colour, mood and melody to the table. On I Got It Bad, alto saxophonist Billy Drewes adds complexity and even a bit of raspiness to the proceedings.

Another slow, testing track, A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues, finds Stylianou, for all the forthright prettiness of her voice, living up to the tune’s title. Humming To Myself is a striding novelty, and Remind Me is a classy straight-eighths ballad.

Down By The Salley Gardens is the disc’s outlier, a duet featuring Stylianou singing the William Butler Yeats poem accompanied only by Wilson. Closing the disc is another duet — I Mean You, a team-up for Stylianou and Barth’s jaunty, urbane piano.

From start to finish, this disc is gorgeous, sparkling and spontaneous, as you will likely agree if you give it an audition.Peter HumOttawa Citizen JazzBlog
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Melissa Stylianou: No Regrets.

Recorded live to two-track, No Regrets casts a spell that carries through from the jauntily swinging opener (Gershwin’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It”) to the bouncing closer (Monk’s “I Mean You”). Accompanied by the New York all-star core trio of drummer Matt Wilson, bassist Linda Oh, and pianist Bruce Barth, Stylianou sings each word with an understated clarity and style that harken back to classy vocalists like Peggy Lee, Chris Connor, and Ella Fitzgerald. Stylianou demonstrates uncanny interpretive powers on the melancholy “I’ll Never Be the Same,” Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields’ giddy “Remind Me,” and Duke Ellington’s beguiling “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good).” She benefits greatly from Wilson’s endlessly clever, interactive, and joyful contributions on the kit, not to mention their stark, stirring duet on the traditional Irish folk tune “Down by the Salley Gardens.” Oh provides solidly swinging bass lines throughout while Barth’s eminently hip comping and sophisticated chord voicings (as on “I’ll Never Be the Same” and their delightful jazz waltz take on “Polka Dots and Moonbeams”) help elevate the proceedings. Guest clarinetist Anat Cohen adds suitably dark tones on a sparse arrangement of the Billie Holiday lament “Somebody’s On My Mind.” BMThe Absolute SoundSHARE
No Regrets (Anzic – 0046) finds vocalist MELISSA STYLIANOU in the company of pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Matt Wilson for wonderful visits to eleven terrific songs. Most of the tunes are from the world of pop standards, with the notable exceptions being the Irish folk song “Down by the Salley Gardens,” where she is backed solely by the imaginative drumming of Wilson; and the Monk tune “I Mean You” with lyrics by Jon Hendricks. Special note must be made of Stylianou’s superb reading of the rarely heard “A Nightingale Can Sing the Blues,” a tune most associated with Peggy Lee. Stylianou is a stylish singer with a deep jazz feeling to her vocalizing. Her phrasing is spot on, and she is a friend to the lyrics. There are occasional contributions from Anat Cohen on clarinet and Billy Drewes on alto sax. This is among the best vocal albums to arrive this year. Invest in a copy of No Regrets, and you will find that the title accurately the way that you will feel.Joe LangJersey Jazz
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No Regrets, says vocalist Melissa Stylianou, was recorded “the old fashioned way” – live in a single session. There’s another word to describe this approach, and the results captured on this album: timeless.
It helps when you start with the right ingredients – in this case, Bruce Barth on piano, Linda Oh on bass, Anat Cohen and Billy Drewes on reeds and Matt Wilson on drums, and the right repertoire.
Stylianou keeps her approach simple and focussed: songs are drawn from the 1930s and 1940s songbooks of Gershwin, Ellington, Harry Warren, Jimmy Van Heusen and the likes.
The band, too, concentrates on the fundamentals of small-group swing, with the eminent Matt Wilson at the reins.

There are a couple of outliers: “Down By The Salley Gardens” is a traditional Irish ballad adapted by poet William Butler Yeats in 1889, and adapted here by Stylianou and Wilson as an opportunity to stretch out in their interaction.
And Thelonious Monk and Coleman Hawkins’s 1947 “I Mean You” may be bebop, but Barth and Stylianou give it a swing feel, even as they add hints of modernism.
While the album’s honorary title track – Billie Holiday’s 1936 hit “No Regrets” – may not have made the final cut, but this session has a lot in common with the joy and enthusiasm of Holiday’s glorious small-group sessions from that era.
Who needs overdubs or second takes when you’ve got Goodman, Young, Wilson, Page and Jones in the room, or in Stylianou’s case, Cohen, Drewes, Barth, Oh and Wilson?
Not I.

Stylianou and friends will celebrate the release of No Regrets at New York’s Jazz Standard on Dec. 2, and at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto – her home city – on Nov. 21 and 22.Tim WilkinsWBGO.org Radar
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With "No Regrets" Melissa Stylianou has done what few singers are able to do: make classic songs sound like they're her own tunes. These arrangements give her the solid ground she needs to boldly and refreshingly interpret these songs. And what an inspired decision to bring in recording engineer James Farber and record straight to 2-track! There's no shortage of jazz singers out there, but a release like this shows Melissa pulling away from the crowd and lets us know that the future of jazz, and these songs, are in very good hands.Joel Hurd, North Country Public RadioSHARE
When multi-track tape recorders were introduced in the late 1960s, studio recording became an entirely different experience. Each member of the rhythm section laid down their tracks separately, followed by the horn sections. Finally, the vocalist would go into an empty studio, enter an isolation booth, don a pair of headphones and dub the vocal over the other tracks. Many classic period vocalists had a very difficult time making the adjustment, rightly complaining that there was no way to interact with the band. In an age where LPs are making a resurgence, it’s not altogether surprising to find more musicians embracing the traditional style of recording. Melissa Stylianou’s latest CD, “No Regrets” was recorded direct to 2-track tape in an extended one-day session. In her liner notes, Stylianou admits that it’s different than the way she’s recorded in the past, but that with a familiar repertoire and a stellar backup band, it was worth the risks. From the rubato verse of the Gershwin’s “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, we can hear the benefits: Stylianou, pianist Bruce Barth and drummer Matt Wilson have the freedom to stretch phrases as they wish, and when bassist Linda Oh joins in, the rhythm section locks in the time behind Stylianou. Virtually every song in this set was written before Stylianou was born, but the way she wraps her warm voice around standards like “Remind Me”, “I’ll Never Be the Same” and “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” reveals the great love she has for these classic songs. Unlike the other singers in this survey, Stylianou is not a dramatic singer; she makes her points through understatement. However, her melodic variations is just as remarkable (her second chorus on “I Wish I Knew” is particularly accomplished), and her light scat on “Humming to Myself” is delightful. The album sequencing is quite impressive, with more familiar standards as the bookends, surrounding the less known (but equally worthy) songs in the middle. At the center point of the album, there are two fine pieces which use smaller contingents from the group: Billie Holiday’s “Someone’s on my Mind” (a trio with Stylianou, Oh and guest clarinetist Anat Cohen), and a folk setting of “Sally Gardens” with Wilson offering sole support. The album closes with a sprightly duet with Barth on “I Mean You”. This album is easily Stylianou’s best to date, and she should consider further recordings using the same recording method with these outstanding accompanists and this timeless repertoire.Thomas Cunniffewww.jazzhistoryonline.com
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Melissa Stylianou
No Regrets (Anzic)
As New York singer Melissa Stylianou makes clear in the opening tune of her new standards-heavy release, recording these songs is Nice Work If You Can Get It.
The Canadian expat and her core band of pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Linda Oh and drummer Matt Wilson capture the essence of small-group swing on 11 tracks ranging from Nice Work to Monk's I Mean You. Alto saxophonist Billy Drewes and clarinetist Anat Cohen enhance two tracks each.
The ballad I Got It Bad swings at an oh so slow tempo; Somebody's On My Mind is a delight with Stylianou and Cohen's moody delivery; and Cohen's wistful clarinet enriches I'll Never Be the Same. Down by the Salley Gardens, a W.B. Yeats poem done as a duet by Stylianou and Wilson, is a nice surprise among the standards.
I Mean You isn't exactly American Songbook material, but Stylianou and Barth turn the boppish Monk tune into a swinging vocal treat. ****
DOWNLOAD THIS: Somebody's On My Mind
-- Chris SmithChris SmithWinnipeg Free Press January 2015
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singer-songwriter Melissa Stylianou has achieved a major chord. . . . with Silent Movie, she settles into a spellbinding groove that advances her to the forefront of contemporary vocalists, rivaling the storytelling élan of Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon.JazzTimes MagazineSHARE
delicate delivery disarming as she almost whispers her lines . . . on the occasional standard, her takes are so original you're inclined to forget who wrote it.DownBeat Magazine, 4.5 starsSHARE
a winner by all measures, from the program of songs to the hues of emotion made musical and colored brightly by her amazing band. Stylianou’s set list is delivered with breathtaking clarity, thanks to the uncluttered arrangements that frame her gorgeous voice.Nick BewseyICON, 4.5 starsSHARE


May 2012

In New York, New York, director Martin Scorsese's ambitiously flawed homage to Manhattan's postwar music scene, taxman Jimmy Doyle (Robert De Niro) explains to vocalist Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli) that a "major chord" is when everything in your life works out perfectly. Professionally speaking, singer-songwriter Melissa Stylianou has achieved a major chord. Across three previous albums, all distinctively good, Stylianou was finding her footing, experimenting with different styles and interpretive approaches. Now, with Silent Movie, she settles into a spellbinding groove that advances her to the forefront of contemporary vocalists, rivaling the storytelling élan of Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon.

Working with her regular quartet - pianist Jamie Reynolds, guitarist Pete McCann, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Rodney Green - augmented by cellist Yoed Nir, percussionist James Shipp and multireedist Anat Cohen, Stylianou traverses an intriguingly wide-ranging assortment of covers that extends from Jerome Kern, Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer to James Taylor and Paul Simon. Brazilian singer-songwriter Vanessa da Mata's "Onde Ir" unfolds with the delicacy of an orchid, while Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone" becomes a stunning study in regret. Three originals complete the project, including Stylianou's cautiously romantic lyrics added to Vince Mendoza's "Hearing Your Voice," and her heartbreaking narrative fitted to Edgar Meyer's "First Impressions." Finally, there is the title track, crafted by Stylianou and her husband, Reynolds, which brilliantly depicts the drama of a disintegrating relationship in cinematic terms.Christopher LoudonJazzTimes
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June 2012 - 4 1/2 Stars

Stylianou's Silent Movie begins with an incredibly slow take of her own, this time with the standard "Smile." She's close-in, too, her own version of delicate delivery disarming as she almost whispers her lines to this famous tune, accompanied by a sympathetic and supportive group. While she relies more on the occasional standard, her takes are so original you're inclined to forget who wrote it. James Taylor's "Something In The Way She Moves," Paul Simon's "Hearts And Bones," "The Folks Who Live On The Hill" and Mancini/Mercer's "Moon River" all suggest a familiarity, a genuine connection, Stylianou's delivery at times recalling, among others, Joni Mitchell when she plays with intervals in a more natural, less affected way.

It's too bad we don't get more of her own material, the title track a narrative rich with allusions to heartbreak, the melody so sweet yet suggesting the pain that can come from intimate relationships, her voice sounding hopeful but filled with uncertainty. And her "Hearing Your Voice" (written with Vince Mendoza) and "First Impressions" (with Edgar Meyer) reinforce the impression that original material suits her. The slow and sad "Today I Sing The Blues" covers similar territory, but is delivered with less conviction, suggesting less regret.John EphlandDownbeat MagazineSHARE
April 2012 - 4 Stars

Don't be misled by the smooth finish and in-your-face prettiness of Melissa Stylianou's CD Silent Movie.
The New Yorker, a former Torontonian with a pure, honeyed voice, has made a smart, entrancing disc with musical substance and emotional depth beneath its accessible surface.
Stylianou excels at bittersweet, gentle heartbreakers, whether the source material is a tune by Charlie Chaplin (Smile, the patient, nicely contained disc opener), a Johnny Cash hit (I Still Miss Someone) or some choice Brazilian pop (Vanessa Da Mata's Onde Ir). Stylianou renders these tunes with great and moving delicacy, making them as much her own as the evocative title track (a composition by Stylianou's husband and pianist Jamie Reynolds, with her words) or the waltzing, haunting First Impressions (an Edgar Meyer piece with Stylianou's lyrics). Not to play the Canadian card too strongly, but there are moments when Stylianou brings to mind the floating, haunting intimacy of a Sara McLachlan or a young Joni Mitchell.
On these tracks, Pete McCann's ringing guitar work helps considerably to set the music aloft. He's an MVP on the CD whose versatility enriches the diversity of the proceedings, allowing Stylianou to plumb other emotions.
For example, Paul Simon's Hearts and Bones is jubilant, propelled by McCann's jubilant strumming that matches Stylianou's upbeat delivery. McCann's more laid-back acoustic guitar is key to the two-feel charm of The Folks Who Live On The Hill, an ode to contentment that also features Anat Cohen's clarinet and Gary Wang's bass. McCann's also crucial to the folky success of Stylianou's convincing cover of James Taylor's Something In The Way She Moves. The guitarist adds tasty twang to Today I Sing the Blues, which shows that Stylianou can use her pure voice and gifts for understatement and nuance to express the blues as meaningfully as a gritty belter does.
There are other touches of colour — discreet cello that swaddles Stylianou's regretfulness on First Impressions, Cohen's sinuous, entwining soprano saxophone on Hearts and Bones, her bass clarinet that pads a cover of Joanna Newsom's Swansea as well as Onde Ir.
But as the disc's final track — a spare but essential version of Moon River for voice and Jamie Reynolds' Satie-like-piano — makes clear, Stylianou is her disc's star, and a bright and luminous one she is at that.Peter HumThe Ottawa CitizenSHARE
May 2012 - 4 1/2 Stars

Melissa Stylianou is a new name to me, yet “Silent Movie” (Anzic Records) is her fourth recording and it’s a winner by all measures, from the program of songs to the hues of emotion, made musical and colored brightly by her amazing band. Her liner notes reveal that evoking a mood, a place or a memory is foremost on Stylianou’s mind, and in that respect I am reminded of Joni Mitchell’s early records since Stylianou’s style of singing suggests Mitchell as well.
By linking the listening of her album to the experience of watching a story unfold on screen, Stylianou smartly frames these twelve songs that comprise “Silent Movie” with a welcome intimacy. The gifted quartet of musicians that support her, guitarist Pete McCann, bassist Gary Wang, drummer Rodney Green and the fresh sounding pianist, Jamie Reynolds, collectively become the weavers of her dreams and Stylianou’s set list is delivered with breathtaking clarity, thanks to the uncluttered arrangements that frame her gorgeous voice. Her song selection mix modern classics like Paul Simon’s “Hearts and Bones” and James Taylor’s “Something In The Way She Moves,” with the unexpected (Johnny Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”) and the band is often augmented by the multi-reed magic of Anat Cohen whose subtle assist gives the music a sonic buzz. Stylianou’s original lyrics (added to tunes by Vince Mendoza and Edgar Meyer) have equal power to move you, particularly the title track where a conflicted couple watch a film, yet their emotional division preoccupies them to distraction. Happily, the album has a satisfying completeness that keeps you fully engaged and its cinematic motif is nicely underscored by Charles’ Chaplin’s “Smile” and Mancini’s “Moon River,” stalwart screen gems with built in appeal that bookend the recording and which Stylianou delivers with delicate grace.Nick BewseyICON MagazineSHARE
March 2012

For her 4th CD, Melissa Stylianou has assembled a fascinating collection of songs from various sources, ranging from originals to contemporary singer-songwriters (such as Joanna Newsom, Paul Simon and James Taylor) as well as "classic" songs from Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein and Johnny Cash. "Silent Movie" (Anzic Records) is best described by its creator as "a collection of small stories, everyday life caught in a series of moving frames." And what a fine storyteller Ms. Stylianou is.

The opening track, Charlie Chaplin's classic melody "Smile", is flat-out gorgeous. No frills, no vocal acrobatics or fancy solos, just the wisdom of the lyrics (composed by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons). The quartet that supports the vocalist - pianist Jamie Reynolds, guitaristPete McCann, bassist Gary Wang, and drummer Rodney Green - makes all the right moves, whether it's the pianist beneath the vocals or the whisper-soft percussion. Ms. Stylianou does not "sell" the song, she sings it. The joy she exudes on Taylor's "Something In the WayShe Moves" is honest; it makes me smile. Her take on Paul Simon's "Hearts and Bones" (aided by Anat Cohen's emotionally rich soprano saxophone) is gentle yet with an intensity that helps to illuminate the composer's story of a failed marriage. Ms. Cohen's bluesy clarinet winds around the vocal lines on "Folks Who Live on theHill", the Kern-Hammerstein tune from the 1937 film "High, Wide, and Lonesome" and popularized in the 1950s by Peggy Lee. The subtle humor of the piece is transmitted by Ms. Stylianou's happy not sappy vocal. The combination of Green's propulsive drumming and James Shipp's percussion is also quite splendid. Green's work on "I Still Miss Someone" (credit for the arrangement goes to Paul Mathew) helps to reinvent the Johnny Cash song, underscoring the plaintive vocal. McCann's guitar work is exquisite, understated and elegant. He channels Robert Johnson and Chet Atkins on "Today I Sing TheBlues", first recorded in 1948 by Helen Humes and in 1960 by Aretha Franklin (during her Columbia Records days.) There's a blues and country-folk feel to Joanna Newsom's "Swansea", the acoustic piano and Ms. Cohen's bass clarinet creating a quiet shower of notes behind the vocal.

Ms. Stylianou adds lyrics to compositions by pianist Reynolds (the title track), Vince Mendoza (the haunting "Hearing Your Voice"), and bassist Edgar Meyers (the tender, touching, ballad "FirstImpressions" which features lovely cello from Yoed Nir and a fine bass solo from Wang.) Like the other pieces on the disk, these lyrics tell stories of relationships that most, if not all, listeners can relate to.

"Moon River" closes the program. A piece as oft-recorded as the opening "Smile", here it's just Ms. Stylianou and Reynold's Erik Satie-like piano accompaniment moving simply through Johnny Mercer's simple but timeless lyrics. After they complete their 2 verses and choruses, a music box playing the same melody takes the CD out.

Quiet music does not always make for good listening but "Silent Movie" glows with intelligence and love of melody. Melissa Stylianou is not a "decorative" singer; she does have a lovely voice with a good range, fine enunciation and a refreshing lack of artifice. The band is super, the arrangements appealing and the sound excellent."Richard KaminsStep TempestSHARE
March 2012

Stylianou's solo vocals are at the centre of Silent Movie, where she's surrounded by a lush and shimmering settings. Propelling and punctuating all those gorgeous contours on her fourth album is drummer Rodney Green, who has played with everybody from Diana Krall to George Benson to Wynton Marsalis.
The Toronto-born singer's family moved to London in the 1980s. She was here long enough to be a Shark in an Oakridge production of West Side Story, when the school's drama program was helmed by Art Fidler.
With Fidler staying a friend, Stylianou has moved to NYC herself. She still shows enough Shark-like 'tude to pick good songs from all over. Silent Movie has ace selections from singer-songwriter James Taylor's songbook, when he was still on the old Apple label (Something in the Way She Moves) to a Johnny Cash lament (I Still Miss Someone) to Charlie Chaplin's greatest hit (Smile) to Henry Mancini's Oscar-winning Moon River.
The Mancini pop standard has already attracted another former London singer and stylist, the Halifax-based Smith -- who encored and scored with Moon River at a recent Orchestra London series event.
Like Krall, Stylianou is an interpreter who can create her own standards. Krall could count on husband and co-writer Elvis Costello when she was creating songs. Stylianou and her pianist (and husband) Jamie Reynolds co-wrote her new album's title track, an art song with a jazzy soul about life and love when the story on the screen is one's own.
Stylianou co-wrote two other tracks with different collaborators.
Whether the songs are her own, or from the Great American Songbook, Stylianou sings them with a delicate passion which is more sexy and sultry for the effortless control.James ReaneyLondon Free PressSHARE


April 3, 2012

Review of "Silent Movie" CD Release Show at Jazz Standard

Mix two parts jazz, one part folk, and a heaping spoonful of elegant soul, and the product is vocalist Melissa Stylianou's newest release Silent Movie. Whether played on a stereo or brought to life at the Jazz Standard, Stylianou's sound glides, swirls, and pensively tilt-a-whirls into her band's intricate momentum, until both vocals and instrumentals unite in ear-hugging harmony. That harmony spans a spectrum of moods over the album's journey, resonating with graceful tenderness every step of the way.
It's only fitting that the first step on Silent Movie's path is carved by the king of silent films himself – Charlie Chaplin. Stylianou captures the Chaplin classic "Smile" through a wistful lens, ribboning though Rodney Green's misty drums (drummer Mark Ferber played in concert) and Gary Wang's heavy-hearted bass. This melancholy turned haunting on stage as Stylianou pitched lower while percussionist James Shipp climbed higher, piercing the air with vibraphone spears and eerie chimes.
"Silent Movie" wears a similar shroud of clouded reflection around its shoulders, though lilted toward the sweeter side of bittersweetness by Pete McCann's warm guitar. Stylianou's darker-edged vocals also veer toward rosy horizons, coasting alongside Jamie Reynolds' nostalgic piano. The innate dynamic between the two is no surprise; the wife-husband pair wrote the piece together as a means of marital catharsis. Stylianou notes: "We were both going through therapy at the time […] It was difficult but fruitful. Writing that song paved the way ahead for us, musically and as a couple."
Stylianou's take on Paul Simon's "Hearts and Bones" reveals the folky side of her vocal repertoire. The band, too, spins its silky jazz ambience into an earthy medley of beats and sounds. The rustic switch doesn't fully come across on the recorded track, but in person, it was unmistakable. Ferber switched from drumsticks to bare hands, echoing a tribal feel accented by Shipp's triangle and Wang's quietly groundbreaking bass. Anat Cohen emerged as brassy innovator, rising to her feet to belt out unbridled soprano sax slur after the other.
Melissa Stylianou, however, was the pioneering force behind the evening and the album, her voice flowing and retreating like humble thunder. In "Hearts and Bones" and beyond, Stylianou illustrates scenes of love, loss, heartache, and hope in a chic modern light that shines long after Silent Movie is through.Sharon MizrahiThe Lindy Hopper NYCSHARE
April 14, 2012

Review of "Silent Movie" CD Release Show at Jazz Standard

During the second set of Toronto-born Melissa Stylianou's CD release event for Silent Movie (Anzic, 2012) at New York's Jazz Standard, the vocalist kicked things off with a rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "It Might As Well Be Spring," played at a slow tempo and showcasing guitarist Pete McCann.
The band was rounded out by pianist Jamie Reynolds, bassist Gary Wong and drummer Mike Ferber who, with the exception of Ferber, all played on the album. Stylianou then presented the title track, an original composition co-written with Reynolds. The tune featured guest saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen, who took the ballad in a bluesy direction with her nuanced improvisations.
Among the highlights from the set was the band's treatment of singer/songwriter James Taylor's early hit, "Something In The Way She Moves." While McCann approached it with a finger-picking style similar to what can be heard on Taylor's original recording, the band took the tune in more of a slow-jazz direction, thus creating an intriguing sonic blend. Also notable was her take on Cat Stevens' "Ruby Love," featuring McCann on mandolin and the bandleader on ukulele. It was a fun moment with a Mediterranean feel that allowed Cohen to perform an accomplished solo on soprano saxophone with a Klezmer-like sound.
Another memorable moment came with a rendition of Tom Ze's Portuguese-language "Menina Amanha de Manha," a baiao (a syncopated rhythm from Northeastern Brazil) with nonsensical lyrics that gave both Ferber and guest percussionist James Shipp to stand out and exercise their dexterity.
The set ended with Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz, featuring all eight musicians (including guitarist Gene Bertoncini, who was on hand during part of the show). The set ran a bit longer than usual for the venue, but it was a comprehensive showcase of Stylianou's eclectic style and vocal talent.Ernest BarteldesAll About Jazz.comSHARE


If, during the first half of this decade, you happened into Toronto’s slightly bedraggled, wonderfully bohemian Rex Hotel on a Friday night, you were as likely to have Melissa Stylianou serve you your pint of Molson’s as you were to hear her blend of Bjork, Cole Porter, Tom Waits and original tunes on the Rex’s tiny stage.

What you would have heard might have struck you as a little bit Joni Mitchell and a little bit Diana Krall, with rich veins of Ann Hampton Callaway warmth and Patricia Barber cool. In other words, a rather heady cocktail which, now that Stylianou has moved to New York in the hope of expanding her considerable fan base beyond Canada, continues to pour forth on the first of her albums widely available stateside.

Such varied delights as a funkified “Them There Eyes,” an exotically sultry “All of You” and a gorgeously dreamy “That Ole Devil Called Love” make her a standards-bearer worth watching. But it is Stylianou’s artfully imagined originals, ranging from the down-home zest of “Mary’s in the Tub” to the emotional wreckage of the title track, that shift her from engaging to captivating.Christopher LoudonJazzTimes Magazine
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RATING: 92/100
"Them There Eyes" is one of the hokiest, silliest tunes in the American popular songbook, and only a fool or a genius would try to bring it to life today. (Speaking of genius: I still recall with delight Jimmy Rowles and Al Cohn deconstructing this song in a now-forgotten recording from thirty years ago - someone please get that disk back into print!) But the very stylish Stylianou rises to the occasion, and tosses everything from surreal scatting to Middle Eastern modes into this vibrant performance. This vocalist is one of the best-kept secrets in jazz, but secrets like this deserve to be shared.Ted Gioiawww.jazzblog.com
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When Melissa Stylianou moved to New York, broken-hearted jazz fans sent up a familiar, cranky refrain. Who would we refer to as a standard-bearer when getting in arguments about the depth and breadth of Toronto's jazz talent? What would we do with our Friday nights if Stylianou's trio wasn't playing at The Rex? The hypnotic, dream-like grooves of Sliding Down (her third self-released album) may be a major step forward, but there aren't many singers who know when to pull out the stops and, more importantly, when to hold a note and let it melt in the air. The separation was amicable, and, hey, at least we got visitation rightsDMEye Weekly, June 2006 Best of Festival PicksSHARE
Vocalist Stylianou makes a great career leap forward with this wonderful disc that's as much a tribute to her lyrics as it is to her light, airy and so assured singing. Her third album has 11 songs, for which she provides words and sometimes the music on five of them. Her clear, smooth delivery, open approach and ability to create intimacy (there's a hint of Blossom Dearie here) makes this session, backed by a top-drawer host of Toronto sidemen that includes guitarists Kim Ratcliffe and Kevin Breit, a standout.

Now relocated from Hogtown to New York, she's achieved a new level of performance that's well-exploited on the love-themed repertoire that includes the intricate rhythms of her "Mary's in the Tub," a far-out take on the Beatles' "Blackbird," neat vocalese on "Three Little Girls," the poetic "Lohengrin," the almost medieval title tune that slides into fashionable anxiety, and "L'Amitie," sung in French.

This album is clearly a best-of-year candidate.Geoff ChapmanThe Toronto StarSHARE
Jazz is often described as being about the sounds of surprise. It makes me happy when those surprises are good sounds, great sounds. It makes me unhappy, or uncomfortable or even embarrassed for the artist when those surprises are bad sounds. With the numbers of people throwing their hats in the ring, and identifying themselves as artists nowadays, and the facility that exists to record and press one's own CDs, those surprises can go either way. Delightfully, Melissa Stylianou's album Sliding Down is a wonderful, happy surprise.

The first surprise is Stylianou's refreshing rendition of "Them There Eyes." Having seen Betty Carter perform the song in person on a number of occasions, I was expecting a straight- ahead swinging approach. Instead - surprise - it is a lively samba, deliciously flavored with acoustic guitar and percussion. Stylianou has a sweet and appealing voice. Moreover, she sensitively makes use of a range of dynamics - from tissue-soft expressiveness to a brief belting out of the lyrics, at the end of the tune. It is instantly clear that she has developed the skills, intonation, articulation, lyrical understanding, and depth to captivate listeners for an entire album.

While Stylianou is a mature stylist, she is much more than just the vocalist. She composed the music and lyrics for two of the songs on Sliding Down: "Mary's In The Tub" and "Lohengrin." The former, lamenting lost love, starts out with an Indian-sounding intro. Stylianou deftly moves through the snaking, syncopated melody. Listen. She'll hold your attention through the entire track. "Lohengrin" opens softly. Her wordless vocalizations are gentle. Suddenly, and only briefly, she expresses the short lyric. Relax and enjoy the journey on which she leads us.

In addition to her originals, and the songs for which she composed lyrics, "Sliding Down" and "Three Little Girls," there are three standards. Stylianou adds her own twist to the Beatles' "Blackbird." She swings with finesse on a medium tempo version of Cole Porter's "All Of You." It's a powerful, toe-tapping performance, magnificent in the use of subtlety, and her bending and shaping of phrases. Ditto for her tingling rendition of "East of The Sun." It swings.

Some background...Before moving to New York, Melissa Stylianou spent time on the Toronto jazz scene, commanding the attention and respect of fans and artists alike. She won a grant in her native Canada that enabled her to come to the States to study privately with a few leading jazz artists - bolstering the opportunity to further develop her art, garner attention and opportunity. Sliding Down communicates quite clearly that Stylianou is a vocal artist who has put in the work to develop her gift , that she brings substantial taste and creativity to her performances, and that she has the versatility to formidably address a variety of styles.Winthrop BedfortJazz Improv Magazine, Jan. 207SHARE
Bien que son nom ne soit pas très connu chez nous, la Torontoise Melissa Stylianou fait sa place sur la scène du jazz canadien.

Élève de Carol Welsman, la chanteuse possède une voix enjôleuse et un excellent phrasé. Son troisième album lui permet de démontrer tous ses talents d'auteure-compositrice, particulièrement sur Lohengrin et Sliding Down. Ses lectures de Them There Eyes, soutenue efficacement par le percussionniste Alan Hetherington, et d'All of You, avec le guitariste Rob Pitch et le bassiste Jon Maharaj, insufflent une bouffée de fraîcheur à ces standards. Notons également les reprises de Blackbird des Beatles et, surprise, de L'Amitié popularisée par Françoise Hardy.Gilles TremblayLe Voir, 4.5 etoiles, June 2006SHARE


Toronto chanteuse Melissa Stylianou's third album is undoubtedly a jazz recording, yet it's infused with enough original material so as to offer something fresh and fun in a genre that can get tedious and, let's admit it, pretentious. Not so with Stylianou. She picks easily recognizable, or at least easily likeable, standards, such as Cole Porter's "All of You," and "Them There Eyes," which was recorded by Billie Holiday. She also offers a sexy version of "That Ole Devil Called Love," also recorded by Holiday, which shows the album's versatility as both dinner and bedroom music.

Stylianou crosses jazz's borders to cover The Beatles' "Blackbird." She rearranges it with reckless abandon and renders it largely unrecognizable except for the lyrics; the end result is a lively recording that soars as Stylianou's scat reaches higher and higher. She departs from the low, throaty vocals of many famed jazz singers, and effortlessly travels the scale up and down in each song.

Stylianou's original compositions are easy to pick out from the standards, but all of the songs still flow into each other thanks to her consistent vocal performance through each track. She also takes chances with her own songs, adding mandolin, slide and steel guitars. If she loses you with one of the classics, unlikely, "Mary's in the Tub," "Lohengrin" and "Three Little Girls" will get you back on track, especially the latter with its East Indian flavour.Erin HardeThe Leader-Post, June 2006SHARE


Local jazz singer Melissa Stylianou, a regular at the Rex on Fridays, stretches beyond traditional jazz clichés on her stylish second album, which features songs by Tom Waits, Björk and Toronto's Cate Friesen as well as one original (the dreamy "The Lonely Want to Be"). Stylianou steers Björk's haunting title track into Jobim territory with the help of guitarist/co-producer Kim Ratcliffe, and her light touch and confident avoidance of affected, attention-begging vocal stylings provide ample space for her talented band (Ratcliffe, pianist Nancy Walker, bassist Artie Roth, drummer Ted Warren and trumpet/flugelhorn player John MacLeod) to shine.MDIEye Weekly Magazine, 2001SHARE

Upcoming Performances

September 28, 2018 - Oriental, NCDUCHESS at Pamlico Musical Society
September 29, 2018 - Pinehurst, NCDUCHESS at Carolina Philharmonic Gala
October 2, 2018 - NY, NYStylianou/Bertoncini/Sturm Trio
October 17, 2018 - New York City, NYMelissa Stylianou Group
November 2, 2018 - NY, NYFirst Fridays Jazz Series: Stylianou/Bertoncini/Sturm Trio
November 21, 2018 - New York City, NYMelissa Stylianou Group with Guest Cat Russell
December 15, 2018 - Croton-on-Hudson, ...Stylianou/Bertoncini/Sturm Trio

Past Performances

September 19, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
August 21, 2018 - Richmond Hill Centre...
August 15, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
July 25, 2018 - DUCHESS at Orange Ci...
July 23, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
July 17, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou at...
July 15, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou at...
July 15, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou at...
July 14, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou at...
July 12, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou at...
July 7, 2018 - DUCHESS at Kingsboro...
June 29, 2018 - Heather Bambrick and...
June 27, 2018 - DUCHESS & Friends
June 24, 2018 - DUCHESS at TD Ottawa...
June 23, 2018 - DUCHESS at Toronto J...
June 22, 2018 - Xerox Rochester Inte...
June 20, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
June 4, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou/Ge...
May 27, 2018 - Jazz Vespers with Ge...
May 17, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou wi...
March 21, 2018 - DUCHESS at Dizzy's!
March 18, 2018 - Jazz Vespers with Ka...
March 17, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou wi...
February 25, 2018 - Jazz Vespers with Th...
February 21, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
February 18, 2018 - Jazz Vespers with Ma...
February 12, 2018 - DUCHESS
January 26, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou wi...
January 22, 2018 - Perch Trio (Styliano...
January 17, 2018 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
January 12, 2018 - DUCHESS
November 15, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
October 22, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou wi...
October 18, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
September 25, 2017 - Perch Trio (Styliano...
September 20, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
August 16, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
July 28, 2017 - DUCHESS with Paul Ta...
July 14, 2017 - Melissa with Earle/...
July 11, 2017 - Melissa with Earle/...
July 11, 2017 - Melissa with Earle/...
June 21, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
June 18, 2017 - Evergreen at Green G...
May 26, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou wi...
May 17, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
April 19, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
March 25, 2017 - Duchess at Jazz Bist...
March 24, 2017 - Duchess at Jazz Bist...
March 23, 2017 - Duchess at Jazz Bist...
March 15, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
February 24, 2017 - DUCHESS CD Celebrati...
February 23, 2017 - DUCHESS CD Celebrati...
February 22, 2017 - DUCHESS CD Celebrati...
February 2, 2017 - Melissa with Earle/...
January 18, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
January 16, 2017 - Melissa Stylianou/Ge...
January 5, 2017 - DUCHESS
November 30, 2016 - DUCHESS VARIETY HOUR...
November 29, 2016 - DUCHESS VARIETY HOUR...
November 16, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
November 13, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou wi...
October 19, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
October 12, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou/Ik...
October 3, 2016 - Stylianou/LeFleming/...
September 21, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
September 20, 2016 - Perez My Way - Sinat...
September 10, 2016 - Brooklyn Jazz Wide O...
August 4, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
July 20, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
July 9, 2016 - DUCHESS at The Triad
July 1, 2016 - Heather Bambrick and...
June 25, 2016 - DUCHESS at The Sound...
June 24, 2016 - DUCHESS in Sausalito
June 23, 2016 - DUCHESS at Kuumbwa J...
June 22, 2016 - DUCHESS at Jazz on t...
June 15, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
May 18, 2016 - DUCHESS
April 24, 2016 - DUCHESS
April 23, 2016 - DUCHESS
April 20, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
April 6, 2016 - DUCHESS
March 30, 2016 - DUCHESS
March 23, 2016 - DUCHESS
February 24, 2016 - Duchess at the Hot J...
February 22, 2016 - Stylianou/LeFleming/...
February 13, 2016 - Stylianou/Reynolds/M...
February 10, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
January 20, 2016 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
January 16, 2016 - Jazz on the Mountain
December 30, 2015 - Duchess at Jazz Stan...
December 29, 2015 - Duchess at Jazz Stan...
December 17, 2015 - Everything Old Is Ne...
December 16, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
December 4, 2015 - DUCHESS at Jerusalem...
December 3, 2015 - DUCHESS at Jerusalem...
November 25, 2015 - Duchess guests with ...
November 13, 2015 - DUCHESS at JazzYYC -...
November 12, 2015 - DUCHESS at Yardbird ...
October 21, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
October 16, 2015 - DUCHESS at The Rubin...
October 5, 2015 - Stylianou/LeFleming/...
September 20, 2015 - DUCHESS at Monterey ...
September 19, 2015 - DUCHESS Masterclass
September 18, 2015 - DUCHESS at The Sound...
September 17, 2015 - DUCHESS at E Spot Lo...
September 9, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Gr...
September 6, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
August 7, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
August 2, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou wi...
July 23, 2015 - DUCHESS at Jazz at L...
July 22, 2015 - DUCHESS at Dizzy's!
July 16, 2015 - DUCHESS at PLU's Jaz...
July 15, 2015 - DUCHESS at Tula's
July 8, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
July 1, 2015 - A Tribute to Joni Mi...
June 27, 2015 - DUCHESS at Freihofer...
June 26, 2015 - Xerox Rochester Inte...
June 25, 2015 - DUCHESS at TD Toront...
June 23, 2015 - DUCHESS at Regattaba...
June 20, 2015 - DUCHESS at TD Ottawa...
June 17, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
June 8, 2015 - Stylianou/LeFleming/...
May 23, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou "N...
May 22, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou "N...
May 20, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
May 16, 2015 - DUCHESS at Cafe Noct...
April 15, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
March 18, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
March 3, 2015 - DUCHESS CD Release S...
February 18, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
January 25, 2015 - Jazz Vespers
January 21, 2015 - Melissa Stylianou Qu...
January 18, 2015 - Dan Yurkovsky "Hover...
January 8, 2015 - DUCHESS
January 4, 2015 - DUCHESS
December 17, 2014 - Matt Wilson's Christ...
December 16, 2014 - Matt Wilson's Christ...
December 4, 2014 - Have Yourself a Merr...
December 2, 2014 - No Regrets CD Releas...
November 22, 2014 - “No Regrets” Tor...
November 21, 2014 - “No Regrets” Tor...
November 20, 2014 - No Regrets Toronto C...
November 19, 2014 - DUCHESS Autumn Resid...
November 6, 2014 - DUCHESS Autumn Resid...
October 27, 2014 - DUCHESS with Vince G...
October 20, 2014 - Stylianou/Reynolds/L...
October 15, 2014 - DUCHESS
October 2, 2014 - DUCHESS


DUCHESSAmy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou are DUCHESS - Girl-on-Girl Harmony. A vocal trio in the tradition of The Boswell Sisters, DUCHESS has quickly gained a reputation for providing tight harmonies and big fun at their shows.http://www.duchesstrio.com

friends and collaborators

Jamie ReynoldsPianist, composer, friend, husband, father to Bayly, inspiration.http://www.jamiereynoldsmusic.com
Amy CerviniFellow Canadian ex-pat Amy and I sing together whenever possible.http://www.amycervini.com
Hilary GardnerI met jazz vocalist Hilary Gardner through Amy Cervini and now we three are...DUCHESS.http://www.hilarygardner.com
Oded Lev-AriMy producer on Silent Movie and No Regrets, incredible arranger and composer, friend, and technically, my boss (he co-owns Anzic Records)http://www.odedlevari.com
Ike SturmBassist Ike Sturm is the Director of the Jazz Ministry at St. Peter's Church in NYC. I sing with him frequently as part of the Jazz Vespers services and with his group Evergreenhttp://www.ikesturm.com


Aestheticize MediaAestheticize Media designed this website! They're a web/graphic design firm based near Toronto, ONhttp://aestheticize.com
Steve SkladanySteve did the album design for No Regretshttp://www.skladany.net
BACKYARD DESIGNYesim Tosuner has done many beautiful projects for me, including my previous website, from which we carried over the icon graphics on this site. She also designed the Silent Movie T-Shirts!http://www.backyarddesign.ca
Shervin LainezMusic Photography - NYC. Shervin took the album photos for No Regrets and many of the photos featured on the pages of this site.http://www.shervinfoto.com
Fran KaufmanFran Kaufman takes gorgeous live shots of jazz performances in and around NYChttp://www.frankaufman.com
Greg KingGreg takes beautiful live shots of my shows in Torontohttp://www.gregking.ca
Matthew StylianouMy brother is an insanely talented photographer, now based in the UK. He took the album cover shots for Sliding Down and Bachelorette.http://www.matthewstylianou.com
Bungalow SalonMy sister Kris Jamieson is a super-talented stylist/colorist/visionary/Renaissance woman. She runs this salon in Whitby, ON, Canada.click here for more info
H over walking YErin Harper produced and captured many of my performance videosclick here for more info


Aestheticize MediaAestheticize Media designed this website! They're a web/graphic design firm based near Toronto, ONhttp://aestheticize.com
Steve SkladanySteve did the album design for No Regretshttp://www.skladany.net
BACKYARD DESIGNYesim Tosuner has done many beautiful projects for me, including my previous website, from which we carried over the icon graphics on this site. She also designed the Silent Movie T-Shirts!http://www.backyarddesign.ca
Shervin LainezMusic Photography - NYC. Shervin took the album photos for No Regrets and many of the photos featured on the pages of this site.http://www.shervinfoto.com
Fran KaufmanFran Kaufman takes gorgeous live shots of jazz performances in and around NYChttp://www.frankaufman.com
Greg KingGreg takes beautiful live shots of my shows in Torontohttp://www.gregking.ca
Matthew StylianouMy brother is an insanely talented photographer, now based in the UK. He took the album cover shots for Sliding Down and Bachelorette.http://www.matthewstylianou.com
Bungalow SalonMy sister Kris Jamieson is a super-talented stylist/colorist/visionary/Renaissance woman. She runs this salon in Whitby, ON, Canada.click here for more info
H over walking YErin Harper produced and captured many of my performance videosclick here for more info

Jason Byrne, Red Cat Publicity

Anzic Records

Melissa's Albums

Other Recordings






Silent MovieLive at Jazz Standard, NYC August 2012shareview
I Still Miss SomeoneLive at 55 Bar, NYC September 15, 2010shareview
Hearts and BonesLive at 55 Bar in NYC Sept. 15, 2010shareview
Hearing Your VoiceLive at 55 Bar September 15, 2010shareview
Melissa Stylianou Live at Jazz Standard in New York - YouTubeLive at Jazz Standard, NYC June 24, 2007.shareview
A Sleepin' Bee
from Live at Bar Next Door, June 3, 2013
Melissa Stylianou - voice, Orlando LeFleming - bass, Mark Ferber - drums
Darn That Dream
from Live at Bar Next Door, June 3, 2013
Melissa Stylianou - voice, Orlando LeFleming - bass, Mark Ferber - drums
from Live at Bar Next Door, June 3, 2013
Melissa Stylianou - voice, Orlando LeFleming - bass, Mark Ferber - drums
from Live at Bar Next Door, June 3, 2013
Melissa Stylianou - voice, Orlando LeFleming - bass, Mark Ferber - drums


No Regrets
Silent Movie
Sliding Down
It Never Entered My Mind...


Silent Movie T-Shirt Navy Blue
American Apparel Fine Jersey tees in either Navy Blue or Cranberry, in men's and women's sizes.
view larger imagePayPal - $15
Silent Movie T-Shirt Cranberry
American Apparel Fine Jersey tees in either Navy Blue or Cranberry, in men's and women's sizes.
view larger image