Melanie DeMore

SAY HELLO TO MELANIE DEMORE! Born in the Bronx, raised in Anchorage, folks moved all five kids to San Antonio, finished school, got out of Texas, kinda got off on being the only Black folk singer in Taos, N.M, then decided to get back into the mix, took all her stuff and moved to Oakland where she’s been for the last 21 years. (Actually, Mel and Tracy C. had a good laugh one day in San Francisco where they finally met and realized folks had them mixed up all the time. They still do!) Every town Melanie traveled became her teacher and an opportunity to hone her craft as a songwriter, troubadour, and an emissary of tolerance, kindness, and harmony through the sound of her golden voice.

HERE’S THE DEAL: She’s traveled the world, was a founding member of the Grammy nominated vocal ensemble Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, and is constantly amazed by her life. But nothing is closer to her heart than bringing people together wherever she is to experience the healing power of music. Whether she’s performing solo, leading stick pounding workshops , doing residencies with choirs all over the country or teaching Sound Awareness to sixth graders, baby boomers, or senior citizens, one thing is certain: her mission is to make sure you unlock the key to experiencing yourself in all your Glory and return home with the very same excitement and passion for living that she herself has. When she comes your way, her energy will charge the very air you breathe like a meteor shower, so get ready to rise up!

A sweet moment with Odetta
RESPECT AND PROPS: With a solid education in music composition, this accomplished songwriter, composer, choral conductor and former Sister of the Cloth, has a level of understanding as to the pure intention of Music that comes to only a very few in each generation. Life for Melanie DeMore is for the seeking and sharing of light, joy, and deep love for what moves you. If you haven’t heard her yet, rest assured there is only one woman on this Planet who’s voice is as deep, resonant, mesmerizing, comforting, and downright jaw-dropping in its power and sensuality as hers is. She has been a formidable presence onstage at such noted venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, international folk music festivals from Europe to Cuba to New Zealand. She has shared the stage with some of the world’s most notable musicians and political activists from Gloria Steinem, Odetta, Pete Seeger, and Judy Collins to Ed Asner, Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, and Ani Di Franco. She has been credited with launching and inspiring the careers of many of her students over the years, including Skyblaze/Sony recording artist Goapele. She will run into students decades later only to hear the same praises over and over again. She has taken troubled children and turned lives around. She never gives up. She’s the songwriter’s songwriter, the composer’s composer.

LITTLE KNOWN SUPERNATURAL POWERS: Known to the mothers of screaming babies as a human pacifier. Known to the parents of difficult children as the child whisperer, she transforms the raw energy of human beings into flowing rhythms, self empowering awareness, with a sweet top note of humor and not taking oneself too seriously. An admitted kid at heart, Melanie loves to inject her effervescent playfulness into traditionally serious forums and gatherings, reminding us to lighten up, step “out the way” and let our spirits do their dance.

WITH UNDYING COMPASSION: She has been called to the bedsides of both newborns and those in transition. She has chanted and toned to awaken the newcomer into this world, and soothed many a weary soul about to pass, with praises and hymns for a life well lived.

CLOSING THOUGHTS: Most likely the words to a song of hers that has been performed by choirs and choruses all over the world and has given hope and comfort to so many…”I’m sending you light, to heal you, to hold you…I’m sending you light, to hold you in love.”
—Sonya Heller