Sunday May 27, 2018
2:00 PM (doors open at 1:30 PM)
click here to buy tickets
Mélanie Hartshorn-Walton – vocals
Keith Hartshorn-Walton – tuba
Alex Tompkins – guitar
Michel Delage – drums
“Melanie E.” is a French Jazz ensemble based in Ottawa, Canada. Featuring the vocal talents of Melanie Hartshorn-Walton, this highly talented group of musicians (led by husband Keith) is entertaining audiences across Canada. Their sensational and romantically nostalgic exhibition of traditional French and Quebecois songs, splashed with a magical jazz appeal, provide an atmosphere that magically boasts a profound appeal to audiences of all languages and ages!
“We’re introducing traditional French Songs to a new public by reaching out to all with funky jazz idioms, and awakening the senses of those familiar with the popular repertoire who may not have been introduced to jazz. We’re thrilled to be bringing the best of our world, to the world around us.”
Please visit our website to hear our music Melanie E.
Vocals: Mélanie Hartshorn-Walton
MELANIE – Vocalist Mélanie Hartshorn-Walton began singing at an early age and remembers listening to many French artists including Ginette Reno, Félix Leclerc and Joe Dassin. It was through song that she discovered her lifelong passion for music. Mélanie took her first music lesson at the age of 6 and embarked on a wonderful journey: Mélanie studied classical guitar, voice and piano and also played the French horn and electric bass. Her early jazz influences ranged from Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond to Ed Bickert, and Chick Corea. At 17 she began her studies at McGill University where she later graduated with a Bachelor of Music. It was there that she met Keith, who would later become her partner in music and life. Mélanie’s journey brought her back to Ontario where she received her education degree. Shortly after, Melanie began teaching music in a French immersion school – “the best of two worlds, speaking my mother tongue all day, and teaching kids to love music.”
Tuba: Keith Hartshorn-Walton
Keith Hartshorn-Walton is the Ensemble’s (the ‘E’ in Mélanie E) band leader. Keith began his musical career in Winnipeg playing bass, tuba and piano. He has received music degrees from McGill University and the University of Toronto. Music has taken Keith all over the world including touring North America with Canada’s Foothills Brass Quintet. Keith currently teaches at Carleton University, College De La Salle, and from his private home studio. Keith’s influences include Howard Johnson, Stevie Wonder, Charles Mingus and Jimmy Smith. Keith has a great passion for Jazz and was introduced to the wonderful world of French Music through Mélanie. “It was amazing listening to these great songs, and finding ways to combine them with some of my favorite grooves.” Keith especially enjoyed performing on the vintage Hammond B3 organ heard on several tracks. In Ottawa, Keith plays sousaphone with the Bank Street Bonbons, and tuba with many jazz ensembles including Safe Low Limit. This year, Keith will be seen performing both at the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival as well as at Bluesfest.
Guitar: Alex Tompkins
Alex Tompkins graduated from the Carleton University Bachelor of Music program in 2012 with Highest Honours. He is a regular performer in the Ottawa and Gatineau areas where he works both as a sideman as well as leads his own projects. Presently he is a member of the Beeched Wailers which performers original jazz compositions by local Ottawa composers and released its first EP in 2015 titled “The Johnson Lake Sessions”. Alex also performers regularly with Trouble Clef lead by vocalist Katie Hurdon which features original music as well as tunes from the standard jazz repertoire. Alex also leads his own jazz trio which performs regularly throughout the Ottawa area and mixes jazz standards in with original music. He has performed at the Ottawa Bluesfest, the Ottawa Jazz Festival, the Buckingham jazz festival and the Merrickville Jazz Festival. Alex has also been teaching guitar for the last nine years and is currently teaching at Long and Mcquade in Kanata where he teaches a variety of styles ranging from rock, metal, blues, classical, country, folk and jazz.
Drums: Michel Delage
Michel Delage began drumming when he was 16 years old. His early influences was the rock he heard on the radio but upon discovering Frank Zappa, Michel was inspired to pursue music as a career and craft. In high school, Michel played in his high school Jazz, Concert and Percussion ensemble. He also joined the Carlton catholic school boards wind ensemble and was the drummer for large board wide productions of musicals such as The Music Man and Little Shop of Horrors. During this time he also branched out into world music. He became a member of the only traditional Balinese Gamelan group in Ottawa, Semara Winangun and also played traditional Thai music with The Thai Dance Troupe of Ottawa. Michel’s musical interest’s continued to grow through high school as he listened to Jazz, 20th Century classical composers and free-improvised music.
Michel then auditioned and was accepted to the Humber Collage Jazz Programe in Toronto. While there, he studied drum set with Barry Romburg, Mark Kelso, Roger Flock, Don Vickery and Ted Warren. He also studied Balinese Gamelan at the University of Toronto, traditional Javanese Gamelan at the Indonesian Consulate with Andrew Timar and traditional north Indian music with Ravi Nampalli. During this time, his musical tastes and skills continued to grow while he played modern Jazz, World music, funk, rock and everything in between.
Since moving back to Ottawa, Michel has made a point of trying to get every musical experience he can to broaden his skills as a drummer and a musician. He is a regular on the Ottawa jazz scene playing with The Four Heavies (Jazz tribute to Stevie Wonder) The Richard Page Trio/Quartet, Sugar Jazz And the Che’mystery and DHD3 Trio, to name a few. You can also find him playing with Rankin Yout and The Dub Pilots (reggae) Old Stereo (funk/soul) Riishi Von Rex (Indie Rock/Gypsy/Punk), The Rambin’ Vally Band (Blues/Bluegrass) and Live K (live karaoke band). He has played venues and festivals like The Ottawa International Jazz Festival, Ottawa Blues Festival, Chateau Laurier , Rainbow Bistro, Avant Garde Bar, Mercury Lounge, Congress Centre, Ottawa Convention Centre, Cafe Paridisso, Cafe Nostalgica, Ottawa Craft Brewery Festival, Little Italy Street Festival, Brookstreet Hotel, Vanier Festival of Nations, Raw Sugar, Babylon, Zaphods, Umi Cafe, Stella Luna, Le Petit Chicago, Heart and Crown, Darcy McGees, The Atomic Rooster, Shankman Centre, Lavente Bistro, Merickville Jazz Festival and many other venues in Toronto/Montreal.