“It’s 3am…Billie Holiday whispers in Tom Waits’ ear. Ties get loosened and the party begins…”
Their self-titled debut album has already been labeled, “…an instant classic” by fans like Grant-Lee Phillips, Margaret Cho, and Mark Flanagan, owner of the legendary Largo-Los Angeles. The adventurous, genre bending five-piece ensemble is heralded as one of Los Angles’ trending breakthrough bands. Critics seeking to capture the vibe of this band have described it as, “…Multiple shades of Amazing” and “Fiona Apple meets the Killers with a dash of the Clash”.
Having just released their Label Debut, The Perfect Crime, produced by Grammy Award Winner,Charles Goodan, the young ensemble is led by singer/composer, Mela Lee, with music direction by vibe/keyboard player Alexander Burke, Aron Forbes on guitar, Matt Lucich on Drums, and an anchor of Bass by Gordon Bash.
Sweet, sexy, nuanced, and smart -with a healthy dash of irreverence – find out what critics and audiences have been raving about.
Mela Lee - Vocals
Mela Lee’s five octave range and unique sound are reminiscent of the spirit of a young Etta James or Billie Holiday, the mischievous sensuality & playful rock edge of Gwen Stefani and the winsome vocals of Adele. Lee’s voice is classic, stunning, and instantly familiar. Andrae Crouch says of Lee, “She has the voice of an angel and can break the heart of heaven”. A professional voiceover artist for film and television, Lee is featured in numerous commercials, animated series, games and movies and can be heard in games like Fallout, Saints Row, and Final Fantasy; shows like CBS’s “The Good Wife” and “CSI NY”, and in sound design for the films “Pirates of the Caribbean- on Stranger Tides” and “Drive” with Ryan Gosling. Along with Alexander Burke, Mela is also a music composer for Lorne Michael’s company, Broadway Video – most recently writing and singing the theme song for the cult web series, “7 Minutes in Heaven with Mike O’Brien”
Alexander Burke - Piano, B3,Vibes, Keys
He has performed with musical legends Jon Faddis, Joe Labarbera, Joey DeFrancesco, Slide Hampton, Chuck Hedges, and blues greats Arthur Adams and Guitar Shorty. In 2002, he became one of the youngest music directors in the history of Second City Chicago. He has performed with SNL sketch comedy legends Mike Meyers, Tim Meadows, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler and Jason Sudeikis on the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. He holds a BA in Jazz Composition from Columbia College and a Masters in Film Scoring from USC. He recently completed work on a film score with Grant-Lee Philips, and for HBO’s “Funny or Die”, Comedy Central’s, “Mash up” with TJ Miller and is featured on the Grammy nominated Margaret Cho Album, “Cho Dependent”. Along with Mela, he is currently a composer for Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video online division as well as shows running on FX, Fox, and NBC.
Aron Forbes -Guitar
Born and raised in Big Sur, California, Aron began playing guitar at age 5. By the time he was 11 years old he was singing and playing in his own blues band “The Blue Tones.” The band was invited to play at the famed Apollo Theater where they were named one of the top three new teen bands in the nation by Teen People Magazine. Scouted by the USC Thornton School of Music, Aron moved to Los Angeles where, along with his studies, he continued to work as a guitar player for clients including BC Jean, Toby Gad, and Paula Cole.
After appearing on the Magnolia Memoir self -released debut album, Aron toured the world as the Music Director for Justin Timberlake produced artist, Esmee Denters.
He has ventured off to help music direct Brit sensations, One Direction, and to play guitar for the “XFactor” – But the Memoir always pulls him back home…and his presence and melodic contribution are unmistakable on this year’s “The Perfect Crime”.
Gordon Bash – Bass(upright & electric) & Cello
A Pennsylvania native, Gordon moved to Los Angeles where he started playing with the world famous Dresden singing Duo “Marty and Elayne” at the age of 18. In the past decade, he has continued to be in demand with jazz ensembles and rock bands alike due to his command of rhythm, dynamics and his rock sensibility. Gordon also composes for film and television, produces the original alternative rock bands – “Bash” and “Alice”, & Music Directs the Mortified After School Orchestra.
Matt Lucich - Drums
A native of San Francisco who now resides in Los Angeles, Matt is an in-demand studio and tour musician. Matt has performed with Pat Monahan (singer of Grammy-Award winning band Train), Grammy-Award singer Paula Cole, Pop/R&B singer Taylor Dayne, Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon), Prog-Rock icons Queensryche, and Industrial/Rock group Snake River Conspiracy and has appeared on The Tonight Show, Ellen, Craig Ferguson and The Today Show.
Currently, Matt is recording and Performing with Magnolia Memoir and is the only member in the group without a nickname…
Vintage Magnolia Memoir: Special Guest Artists on the self released Debut Album:
Marcus Graf – Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Born in Austin, TX , Marcus first picked up the trumpet at age 13. Earning early accolades as a young player, Marcus went on to receive a Masters Degree in Jazz from SUNY Purchase in New York. He studied privately with trumpet powerhouses Jon Faddis, Ray Vega and Jim Rotondi, and his focus on technique has afforded him an impressive melodic vocabulary. He has been lovingly called “the second singer” on the debut album, a nod to his memorable counter-melodies & screaming range on the horn. Graf resides in New York.
Steve Hass – Drums, Percussion
Whether playing a 12/8 ballad behind Art Garfunkel or Billy Joel, trading 8’s with guitar legend George Benson, flowing through a funk groove in 13 with the Ravi Coltrane Group, swinging with Manhattan transfer or playing a variety of styles with The John Scofield Band, Steve leaves a signature sound wherever he goes. He brings it in spades to the Magnolia Memoir project. After touring with the Ravi Coltrane Group, Manhattan Transfer, and with John Scofield on the Ray Charles Tribute Project, it’s an honor to have had Steve masterfully lead the group from dirty swing to the softest of ballads to unexpected and unforgettable r&b tinged grooves.