From Dayton to Vegas: Smooth jazz singer Melanie Moore’s solo debut



After a diverse singing career, from R&B to off-Broadway, Dayton native Melanie Moore released her debut full-length solo album, “Anything You Need,” in late 2022.

The Las Vegas-based smooth jazz artist grew up performing in the Miami Valley but truly launched her career in New York City. She did studio sessions as a backing vocalist and had stints singing in major label acts the Tymes and Kleeer. Moore returned to Dayton from 1984 until 2000. During this period, she appeared with her own jazz quartet throughout the Midwest, including regular appearances at Gilly’s and the annual Women In Jazz Festival.

“Dayton is my hometown, but I had to leave for a while,” Moore said. “I worked in New York and then ended up back in Dayton. I worked a lot with my bands in Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis and Chicago.”

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While she has never stopped performing, Moore always had a day job. The Central State University graduate was a teacher and a school counselor before retiring in December 2021.

“One thing my parents instilled in me was, even if you have a talent, always have a paycheck,” Moore said. “My other career is in education. I had that on one side, but I was always an entertainer on the other side. I was recruited by the Clark County School District, so I came out to Vegas in 2000 as a teacher. I taught here for four years, and I got two master’s degrees in education once I came out here. My second master’s is in educational administration, but I was still singing.”

After years of backing other artists, Moore began writing material for “Anything You Need” in 2018. The bulk of the album was recorded in the later stages of the pandemic.

“I’ve always wanted to do this but when you have two jobs, your days are consumed with work and family,” she said. “Nothing really triggered me to do an album, it was just about the timing. I still hadn’t met the co-producer, who helped me develop my songs. Then I met my vocal coach, who is a vocal producer. I only record with her, so I had my team.”

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Moore says her album instilled a feeling of clarity and happiness. She hopes to record more in the future.

“Making the album was therapeutic and cathartic,” she said. “After working all day, the studio was my happy place. I may have done a session once a week, but I felt so much better because no matter what, my art was coming out. This is my first album but not my last. I’m going to do several more.”

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