Michele Mele is a Canadian jazz and pop vocalist, songwriter, recording artist, and educator based in Toronto. Her vocals are notable for their airy, slightly smoky quality and their slight resemblance in timbre and phrasing to Astrud Gilberto's. Mele was born into a family of professional musicians, and began playing piano as a child. By the time she reached high school, she had already completed all of the music credits necessary to graduate. She holds degrees from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and Faculty of Music Education. As a music educator, she has conducted numerous songwriting and active listening workshops in Ontario.
Her first brush with music business success was in 1989, when her composition "That's All I Know" was recorded by Neil Donnell. The single took off nationally and ultimately earned gold certification in Canada. In 1991, Mele arranged a series of choral concerts for the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra. She spent the rest of the decade forming a band, playing clubs, writing for other artists, and doing arrangement work.
Mele's first album, Like This, appeared in 2002; it garnered generally positive critical notice. It was followed by Laugh in 2004, where her clever songwriting style was compared favorably to that of Michael Franks. In 2006, Mele released Feel, whose contents branched out into bossa nova, and included standards as well. Her breakthrough recording in Canada was Naked on the Rocks, an album that walked a wavering line between contemporary jazz, pop, rock, and blues. The album acted as the score to her one-woman (plus band) show of the same title that toured to international acclaim. Mele re-emerged in 2012 with Cha Cha, which was produced by Greg Kavanagh. ~ Thom Jurek