Jacob Melchior

Drummer, Percussionist, Composer, Producer, and Educator


Jacob Melchior is a versatile jazz drummer, who often receives praise for his calypso, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian grooves, complimenting a strong swing feel and funk pocket.

In 2010, Melchior released his second studio album, “It’s About Time,” which showcases his talents as bandleader, arranger, composer, and producer. “It’s About Time” features Tadataka Unno on piano, Hassan J.J. Shakur on bass,

and special guest vocalist Frank Senior. The album achieved critical acclaim both in print and online, as well as notable radio play internationally (Holland, Luxembourg, Australia, France, England, Denmark, and the United States).

Born and raised in Copenhagen, DK, Melchior arrived on the New York scene in 1994, by way of Brazil, where, always ready to drink in experience, he spent time honing his skills steeped in various Afro-Brazilian rhythms. While living and studying in Rio De Janeiro, Melchior performed at the 1991 Carnivale with that year’s first-prize band, G.R.E.S. Acadêmicos da Rocinha.

Melchior’s international performance roster holds sway. Included are The Blue Note in Seoul, Korea; Montreal Jazz Festival (Montreal, QB); Notting Hill Carnival (London, UK); Bossa Nova (Abruzzo, Italy); Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Copenhagen Jazz House (Copenhagen, DK); and Cirque Voador (Rio De Janeiro, BR).

Upon the New York arrival, he wasted no time saturating the scene, and he’s seen the view from the throne at Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, The Iridium, Smalls, Augie’s, Dizzy’s, Kitano, Fat Cat, and Smoke.

For most of the 2000’s, any time in the studio allotted for personal projects became consumed by constant live and session work.
Thus “It’s About Time,” the sophomore full-length, marked a major personal achievement for Melchior, due to large amounts of time and life elapsed between it and his debut. You see, “Steppin’ Up” saw its release by Music Mecca in October 1999.

These Copenhagen-New York sessions feature players Eric Alexander, Sam Yahel and Thomas Fryland, with songstresses Vanja Santos and Debbie Cameron, all lending magnificent talent. The album made ripples through the East Coast for the newcomer.

There’s nothing but gratitude for the period following. Along swept the honor of playing and recording with such extraordinary cross-genre vocalists as Jenn Jade, Michelle Walker, and Aimée Allen; along with giants of jazz such as the late pianist Harry Whitaker, and guitarist Joe Cohn. Although for any cat truly obsessed by the groove, the itch to compose and record always comes back to call. It was about time, no?

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Melchior co-produced and appeared on acclaimed Bronx-based vocalist Frank Senior’s “Listening in the Dark,” released in 2008 on Smalls Records. Other notable projects include Henry Dee’s “On Your Mind” (2007) and Carolyn Lee Jones’ “Bon Appetit” (2007).

This October 3-7 marks a return to international touring, with The International Festival of Blind Musicians in Tetouan, Morrocco. A third disc, “Connections,” is slated for December 2012 release on Melchior’s Brick Wall View record label.