Hal Melia, an assistant professor of music and director of Jazz Studies at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, will join the big band as a saxophonist for the Cowboy Bebop jazz tribute concert from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 29 at Withrow High School!
The multi-instrumentalist – he plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute, piccolo, clarinets (Bb, Eb Soprano, and Bass), and EWI (electronic wind instrument) – spent 1986 through 1991 in Los Angeles recording and arranging with top jazz and R&B groups (Tower of Power Horns, Buddy Rich Band, Billy Vera and the Beaters), and appearing in several major motion pictures (Bugsy, Dick Tracy, The Marrying Man, Mobsters, Parent Trap III and others). He has also recorded with artists on several labels, including MCA Records and Positive Music Records, Inc.
In 1991, Hal and his family returned to Dayton, Ohio, where he founded Miami Valley Jazz Labs, a jazz school for kids from middle school through high school. During this time, he attained his masters degree in saxophone performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His premier CD, WADUYATHINK, was released in 1993 on Positive Music Records and was a top 25 jazz CD.
From 1998 to 2004, Hal was visiting assistant professor of music and in jazz studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he resurrected a dormant Jazz Studies program, working with jazz great Bobby Watson the last four of those years. During his time there, Hal became an integral part of the Kansas City jazz scene, performing and recording in a variety of venues, and serving as president of the Jazz Ambassadors, a jazz support organization in Kansas City.
In 2013, Hal started a popular horn band called Brass Tracks Band, in which he arranges and plays the music of Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, Earth Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, and many more popular bands from the 1070s to the current day.
Welcome aboard, Hal!
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