Melissa was born in Ankara Turkey and lived outside of Istanbul until she was almost three years old. She then moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where she spent her elementary and Jr. High School years.
Melissa started singing at age 7 just for fun. Her mother enrolled her in a summer program at the county library. She was given a solo and both Melissa and her mother were surprised at the voice emerging from her small self. She hasn't stopped singing since. She also developed a strong desire to be involved in theatre. Around age 12 she began auditioning for community theatre productions and attending Theatre School for Youth at the University of Utah. Theatre School for Youth was a wonderful experience taking her to New York, Chicago and Portland to perform. She was also modeling and began auditioning for television parts as well.
She moved to Las Vegas, Nevada during her high school years. There, she became heavily involved in musical theatre. She had large parts in many Community and University productions. She was the youngest person nominated for the highly regarded John McHugh award, for her performance as Ruby in "Dames At Sea". Her senior year in high school she played the lead in "The Boyfriend' at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Starring opposite the award winning Steven Fales of the famous "Confessions of a Mormon Boy" currently touring the country. After graduating high school she was offered a scholarship in musical theatre to both the Boston Conservatory and the University of Utah. She attended the University of Utah.
After a few more years of theatre Melissa began developing her acting talent in more television and film roles. Her singing began taking a new direction as well. She went on a Department of Defense tour for 2 ? months. It was the first time she had ever been in front of a band playing pop and rock & roll. The tour lasted about two months taking her all over South Korea, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, Okinawa, the Philippines, Hawaii and more. She came back wanting to pursue music and acting in a different and more serious way.
Since then she has worked regularly as a studio musician, working on spots for ABC, CBS, NBC and many more. She recorded a CD project with the famous Joey DeFrancesco, "When I Look at You" in 1996, consisting of great American Jazz standards.
She has been on every major network as an actress involved in television, commercial and film projects. She lived in Studio City California for a time exploring the film industry (not her cup of tea). She fronted the Joe Muscolino Band for 11 years, playing for every imaginable type of private function.
In the last few years she has been focusing on her love of Jazz. She's played with her quartet regularly in Salt Lake City Utah at clubs, restaurants and for private functions.
Melissa finished her first solo CD, "Am I Blue" in December of 2003.
To her delight, in December of 2005 she appeared with the Utah Symphony and the New Deal Swing Band at Abravanel Hall as guest vocalist for the Christmas Pops Concert.
In December 2006, after her busiest year of singing yet, ending with the performance of "A Little Jazz with Your Mistletoe" at the Rose Wagner Center for Performing Arts. She relocated to Phoenix Arizona for personal and professional reasons. Since then she has performed all new arrangements by the great Dan Bonsanti w/ the Wasatch Big Band. "A Little Jazz with Your Mistletoe" was released on CD in December 2007 with another performance at the Rose Wagner. She's kept busy singing at clubs in the Scottsdale and Phoenix areas all while preparing to have a baby in November 2007.
Arizona was wonderful however she is now back in Salt lake City, Utah. She has repeat Pops performances coming up with the New Deal Swing Band and the Utah Symphony in May, 2008.
She is still exploring musical ideas for her next solo album. She's hoping it all comes together, FINALLY, in 2008.
Melissa's love of music is supported by her amazing husband Michael and her new beautiful baby boy, C. Elliot Tanner, born on November 6, 2007. A life filled with love, laughter, music and truth is what drives her these days. She has many dreams yet to explore.