A celebration of hip musical legend Anita O’Day performed by the “sultry, soulful” California-based Irish singer, Melanie O’Reilly – “the ideal soundtrack to a hot summer night”.

Award -winning Melanie “captures her often-troubled subject’s spirit, giving the music an added emotional kick”, and her riveting performance brings new life to the legendary jazz vocalist, who shattered the traditional image of the ‘girl singer’ with her smoky swinging style and brilliant sense of rhythm.

Captured in the iconic 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, in which she commanded the band and audience with an authority rarely seen in women of her day, the legendary jazz vocalist is given new life by Melanie’s riveting performance.

“A gorgeous sound”, proclaims the Contra Costa Times. Melanie sings with a “breathtaking, amazing emotional intensity” and “sheer virtousity” according to the Irish Times.

Since bursting onto the international scene as one of jazz’s most daring innovators, Melanie O’Reilly has been touring extensively in Europe and America.  She comes to Edinburgh this summer to pay tribute to one of her earliest and most primal inspirations.

“The show,” said Three Weeks Daily, “is a celebration, and O’Reilly makes every number her own ..effortlessly,  rhythmic backbeats, sultry, soulful crooning in virtuoso style.”

The Background

While in Los Angeles, in 2005, researching for her radio show ‘Jazz on the Bay’, Melanie met Hollywood scriptwriter Paul Peterson.  One of Anita O’Day’s closest friends, he was in the process of writing a show about her life and music. When he met Melanie, he exclaimed “I’ve found my Anita O’Day!”.

Sadly, two years later, in 2007, both Anita and Paul had passed away within six months of each other.

Now, four years on, Melanie continues her musical journey to carry on their creative work and dedicates her one-hour show to them.  She comments: “Because Anita was already ill in 2005, I was unable to interview her for my radio programme. Instead I decided to take the step of doing the show and performing her songs myself, especially as I had been very influenced by her sound and songs earlier in my life.

“So ‘Jazz on the Bay’ was really the catalyst for my ‘Jazz on a Summer’s Day’ show, and I have absolutely loved doing both for a number of years now.”

Link to Jazz on the Bay