"A vocalist fast becoming one of the music's more daring chanteuses.” – All About Jazz
JUNO and National Jazz Awards nominee Melody Diachun is making a name for herself as a talented vocalist and songwriter, and as a warm performer praised for her “soulful confidence, exquisite intonation, phrasing, and sense of time.”(All About Jazz).
Of her 2018 release Get Back to the Groove, Toronto Music Report says: “She is – and will always be – a force to reckon with in contemporary vocal music…The momentum, clarity, and allure of her voice flow right into the witty narrative…a blend of saucy humour and grace.” The album charted on the !Earshot Top 20 National Jazz Charts and peaked at #9.
Currently in preproduction for her fifth album, Melody is busy writing arrangements that reimagine the repertoire of one of the greatest living songwriters. Music of the yet-to-be-announced songwriter will be reset as everything from straight-ahead jazz versions to classical vignettes, to melodies layered over sophisticated harmonies and world music rhythms. The album will be released in July of 2020.
Other notable recordings include EQ (Cellar Live) and Metaphora (Artist Jazz Recordings) by Altered Laws that was nominated for a JUNO for 'Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year' in 2008 and won 'Outstanding Jazz Album' at the 2008 Western Canadian Music Awards.
Born in Montreal and raised in Nova Scotia, Melody remembers, “My father Bill sang and played piano. I sang with him in my first concert when I was seven. I was lucky in that my godfather, Don Hahn, was a recording engineer for A&M and A&R Records. He sent us vinyl play copies, everything from the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and Chick Corea to Karen Carpenter. I did not separate genres; it all interested me and still does.”Melody had piano lessons at 6, gigged regularly as a singer from the age of 15, and played electric bass and French horn in the high school bands.
At McGill University in Montreal, she began in the classical department on French horn as the school did not have a vocal jazz program. She had the opportunity to sing with jazz combos where she enjoyed being treated as a musician, eventually becoming the first vocalist admitted to McGill’s Jazz Performance program.
After graduating she was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to study privately with the great Sheila Jordan in New York City.
Living in Brooklyn, she gained important experience performing at jam sessions and in clubs. After leaving New York, Melody worked for three years in Banff, Alberta, singing seven nights a week.
In 2000, Melody moved to Vancouver where she was active as a performer for 12 years. A member of the music faculty at Selkirk College in Nelson BC since 2012, she is the program coordinator and teaches singing, songwriting, the business of music, and ensembles.
Melody was nominated for ‘Female Vocalist of the Year' and the 2009 Canadian National Jazz Awards and for 'Artist of the Year' at the Kootenay Music Awards in 2018 and 2019. An increasingly significant jazz singer with her own sound, style, and approach to creating new music, Melody Diachun is just getting started.
“A jazz singer of the first order.”– The Times Colonist
TOP 20: "Get Back to the Groove" charted in the Top 20 on the !earshot National Jazz Chart for the months of July and August 2018
TOP TEN: "Get Back to the Groove" charted at #9 on the !earshot National Jazz Chart for the week ending July 17, 2018
NOMINEE: Kootenay Music Awards “Best Blues Song” & “Artist of The Year”, 2018
NOMINEE: National Jazz Awards “Female Vocalist of the Year”, 2009
WINNER: Western Canadian Music Awards’ "Outstanding Jazz Recording of The Year”, Altered Laws' “Metaphora”, 2008
NOMINEE: JUNO “Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year,” Altered Laws' “Metaphora”, 2008
RECIPIENT: Creative BC's Career Development Grant, 2018
RECIPIENT: Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and Columbia Basin Trust's Touring Grant, 2018
RECIPIENT: RAWLCO 10K20 Project Recording Grant recipient, 2006
RECIPIENT: Canada Council for the Arts Short Term Grant, 1994