“Big Light,” the new single from GRAMMY winner Melissa Manchester, goes to radio the week of June 15. The track, which is from her latest album, You Gotta Love the Life, features the legendary vocalist Al Jarreau. “Big Light” marks Manchester and Jarreau’s first recording together since “The Music of Goodbye,” their duet for the 1985 Academy Award-winning film Out of Africa, although the longtime friends have since toured together.
Stream “Big Light” HERE.
Manchester will be touring throughout 2015 in support of You Gotta Love the Life. She’ll play a two-night stand at Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco on July 10 and 11. You can hear Melissa’s “Song Travels” session with Michael Feinstein, which aired on NPR, HERE. Manchester has two return engagements booked at 54 Below in New York City – August 12-15 and November 5-7. See below for itinerary.
In a review of a March 2015 show at 54 Below, The New York Times praised Manchester as “Frisky and ebullient…she effused the high spirits of someone who had shed a heavy weight and was still dizzy with her freedom and sense of possibility.”
You Gotta Love the Life is Manchester’s first studio album in a decade and her first-ever independent release. She celebrated its release with a sold-out appearance at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. In addition to Jarreau, the album features guest appearances by Dave Koz, Keb’Mo’, the late Joe Sample, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder. It was produced by Manchester and Terry Wollman.
With You Gotta Love the Life, Manchester celebrates not only more than 40 years as a GRAMMY-winning performer and songwriter, but a renewed independence and vitality. Billboard praised the “magic moments” on You Gotta Love the Life while Goldmine observed, “[Manchester] has never sounded more vibrant or enthused.” “It’s a beautiful collection showcasing her musical diversity, distinctive songwriting and stunning voice,” noted Rage Monthly. “Thanks to a 21st century team approach, she brings her smoky vocals to a new set,” said M Music & Musicians.
Manchester’s career is remarkable not only for its longevity and accomplishments, but for its versatility. Following her stint as a founding member of Bette Midler’s Harlettes, she established herself as a solo artist with Top 10 hits like “Midnight Blue,” the GRAMMY-nominated “Don’t Cry Out Loud” and the GRAMMY-winning “You Should Hear How She Talks About You.” Her songs have been tapped by motion pictures, netting her two Oscar nominations, and recorded by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss and Roberta Flack. Manchester has appeared on both the large screen in movies (For The Boys) and small screen in television (Blossom), as well as the stage.
She is an honorary artist in residence at Citrus College, where she recorded the new album. Manchester also teaches at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. In fact, her students at USC inspired her to consider taking an independent route with You Gotta Love the Life. Manchester financed the album with an Indiegogo campaign and is contributing a portion of the proceeds to Barry Manilow’s The Manilow Music Project, which benefits school music programs.
MELISSA MANCHESTER TOUR DATES
6/18 – St. Joseph, MO @ YMCA Luncheon / MWSU Concert
7/4 – Portland, ME @ Stars & Stripes Spectacular
7/10 – San Francisco, CA @ Feinstein’s at the Nikko
7/11 – San Francisco, CA @ Feinstein’s at the Nikko
7/18 – Denver, CO @ Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret
7/19 – Denver, CO @ Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret
8/12 – New York, NY @ 54 Below
8/13 – New York, NY @ 54 Below
8/14 – New York, NY @ 54 Below
8/15 – New York, NY @ 54 Below
8/29 – Laguna Beach, CA @ Laguna Arts Festival
9/11 – Louisburg, NC @ Seby Jones Performing Arts Center
9/26 – Needham, MA @ The Great Hall – Needham HS benefit
10/22 – Pocatello, ID @ Stephens Performing Arts Center
10/23 – Boise, ID @ Sapphire Room
10/24 – Boise, ID @ Sapphire Room
11/5 – New York, NY @ 54 Below
11/6 – New York, NY @ 54 Below
11/7 – New York, NY @ 54 Below
12/12 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Broadmoor Hotel
12/18 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Broadmoor Hotel
12/19 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Broadmoor Hotel
12/20 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Broadmoor Hotel
12/24 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Broadmoor Hotel
12/27 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Broadmoor Hotel