Chris Melville is a New Zealand-based classic jazz and soul singer who cites Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald as his major influences. With his warm, velvet vocal delivery he sings classic jazz songs from an era of style and sophistication, an ideal soundtrack for weddings and corporate events. With 20 years of performance experience at weddings, corporate functions and cocktail parties, Chris has played for a stellar client list worldwide. He can perform as a feature singer or as background music, and is highly versatile.
Chris discovered music at an early age, taking singing and acting roles in school plays and local theatre productions. At college he traveled from New Zealand to Australia and USA, singing with his school choir at Disneyland, the Sacramento Jazz Festival and in Hawaii. After completing a design diploma he joined a jazz vocal trio called Midas Touch; together they toured New Zealand appearing at festivals, concerts and on national TV. This experience provided the foundation for Chris to start his own jazz combo, with a residency at Wellington's Plaza International Hotel, exploring the nuances of writing, arranging and leading a band.
After moving to Auckland Chris began a guitar-based pop group and then was invited to play at the opening of a new Ponsonby bar, the 'Grand Central Bar' in 1997. A 17 year-long residency here gave Chris the opportunity to develop a popular funk/jazz/soul band with some of New Zealand's most talented musicians; together they recorded two albums of original songs and played hundreds of festivals, events and TV spots, appearing at the inaugural Vanuatu Jazz Festival. Many of Chris' songs have appeared on NZ's longest running TV series 'Shortland Street'.
During this period Chris traveled to present a solo show at the Hong Kong Country Club, and was invited as a solo musician onto TV3's artist development contest 'Get Your Act Together'. Chris also took a lead role in 'Colourful Soul', an innovative theatre production based in Tauranga, NZ, and co-wrote two bestselling children's book soundtracks for Scholastic NZ: 'A Kiwi Night Before Christmas' and 'A Kiwi Jingle Bells'. Chris also lends his voice to TV ads and radio jingles.
Listen to his music here -