Internationally acclaimed jazz singer, composer, and educator Meltem Ege is admired for her multi-disciplinary approach to vocal jazz. Praised for her theatrical tendencies, warm stage presence, and agile voice, Meltem has received several first-place awards at international voice competition, been a featured soloist in numerous big bands and symphony orchestras, and headlined countless shows at numerous clubs, concert halls and festivals worldwide. She has also served as faculty member at several notable institutions.
Meltem is currently based in Los Angeles, California where she has completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the prestigious California Institute of the Arts. Her studies combine her previous training as a pianist and jazz vocalist with her research on integrated voice training in theater and music. The compositional results of her research explore spaces between jazz and experimental music through semi-theatrical jazz-cabaret vignettes and other experimental compositions. Working with actors and singers alike, Meltem continues to teach voice through private lessons and as a faculty member at CalArts.
Turkish-American musician Meltem Ege received her first degree in classical piano from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. After her graduation, she entered the 2006 Nardis Jazz Voice Competition in Istanbul, Turkey, where she was awarded first-place and was chosen to represent Turkey in the 2007 Lady Summertime Jazz Competition in Finland. She continued her winning streak at the Lady Summertime Competition against 17 other countries with a unanimous vote from all of the judges and was invited to compete in the 2008 Jazz Voices Competition in Lithuania, where she was once again awarded first place.
In 2007, she was accepted to the Berklee College of Music on a merit-based scholarship and completed the four-year program in a mere three years. In 2009 she won second place in the Songs for Social Change Songwriting Competition, and in 2010, she was awarded the Voice Department Achievement Award by the Faculty, Chair, and Dean based on her “outstanding achievement in her major and her contributions to the department.” She graduated from Berklee College of Music in May 2010 with a degree in Vocal Performance as a summa cum laude student with a 3.9 GPA. In 2010, she moved back to Turkey and completed her Master’s Degree in Performance at Başkent University with a 4.0 GPA.
Her first duo album with internationally renowned guitarist Önder Focan, was released under the title Songbook in June 2012. They were joined by an outstanding group of musicians: Şenova Ülker (tr), Bulut Gülen (tb), Ozan Musluoğlu, and Ferit Odman (d). The group also collaborated on Musluoğlu’s album My Best Friends Are Vocalists (Sony, 2016). Each a star in their own right with their own solo projects, the “Önder Focan & Meltem Ege Group” continues to travel and perform together.
Meltem strongly believes in the duality of being an educator as well as a performer. She was faculty at Başkent University Conservatory in Ankara from 2010 to 2014 and served as chair of the Contemporary Singing Department until 2014. She moved to Los Angeles after being accepted to the highly competitive Composer-Performer doctoral program at the California Institute of the Arts in 2014, where she is also currently part-time faculty. Through her research, she is developing a pedagogy for jazz vocalists that helps the connection between technical precision and emotional commitment be more accessible by partnering the physiological precision of singing methods with the imagery and access to inner resources proposed by theatre voice specialists.