Melissa Weikart is a vocalist, pianist, composer, and teaching artist based in San Francisco. Her musical approach is shaped by her early affinity for vocal harmony and formative training as a classical pianist. Melissa’s solo songwriting project emerged as a desire to confront her distinct experiences by providing a space for intimate dialogue between voice and piano. The result is playful and pensive, inviting listeners into a rich, raw world of twisted melodies and exposed dissonance. After releasing her EP Coffee and live album Testing All My Memories, she is now in the midst of recording her first full length LP set for release this winter. In addition to her solo career, Melissa has performed with Boston-based chamber choir Carduus, experimental vocal quartet Lucretia, and most recently joined Carla Kihlstedt's Black Inscription song cycle on vocals and keytar at Cotuit Center for the Arts. She has also composed for San Francisco-based choreography duo Kickbal, and is currently working on a commission for them to be presented in April 2020 supported by the ODC Theater Opportunity Fund.
photo by Sasha Pedro for INPUT / OUTPUT
Coleman, Dominique Eade, Ran Blake, and Hankus Netsky and co-founded Students Advocating for Gender Equality. She was recently featured in INPUT/OUTPUT, a magazine dedicated to promoting the voices of women and non-binary musicians.
While pursuing her Master’s in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory in Boston (M.M. ’18), Melissa was awarded an Entrepreneurial Musicianship grant to fund the debut performance of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice: Pet Sounds Reimagined,” her recomposition of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds performed in its entirety by an all-female vocal choir and rock band. In June 2019, the ensemble presented a performance-lecture at the joint International Alliance for Women in Music and Feminist Theory and Music conference hosted by Berklee College of Music. During her time at NEC, Melissa studied privately with Carla Kihlstedt, Anthony
In addition to her career as a performer, Melissa has worked as a teaching artist since 2016. This past year, she held the position of Musicianship Teacher at Handel and Haydn Society's Vocal Arts Program, where she taught solfege and sightreading classes to students ages 8-18. Melissa also maintains a private teaching studio of voice and piano students. At NEC, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant to Hankus Netsky for his Jazz History and Jazz Ear Training courses. She has also presented a lecture titled “Experimental Women Improvisers: The Creative Power and Radical Aesthetics of Six Musicians” at Tufts University and New England Conservatory.