Singer well-suited for Feinstein’s


Melinda DeRocker’s love of the Great American Songbook is rooted in her childhood.

“My parents influenced me strongly in this golden era of popular music in the U.S. because this was the music of their courtship and marriage right in the middle of World War II,” DeRocker said. “I really began to dive into it in the last year of my mother’s life about 12 years ago. I wanted to give her a gift for her last Christmas on Earth and decided to record some standards to give to her, and in doing that project I decided the next year to record a full album in 2013 and then began singing these tunes with a group of jazz musicians from New York City where I lived.

“It felt like I was just coming home musically, kind of full circle back to those teenage years when I would sing these songs with my mom.”

DeRocker will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 at Feinstein’s in Hotel Carmichael in Carmel. DeRocker will sing some of the tunes from the 2013 album, “I’ll be Seeing You,” but with new arrangements.

“I’m constantly trying fresh approaches to the songs from this iconic era of music,” DeRocker said. “I was singing many of these standards when I was a teenager with my mom at the piano and began back then to not only have an appreciation for this music but to see it as timeless for every generation to come in my show.”

DeRocker said she will share stories behind some of the songs and the composers who wrote them.

She will be accompanied by a jazz trio of Gregory Jones, bassist, Jeff Ciampa, guitarist, and Tom Jennings, pianist.

“It’s exciting to perform in a venue named for the most influential keeper of the Great American Songbook,” DeRocker said of Michael Feinstein, founder of the Carmel-based Great American Songbook Foundation.

DeRocker said two of her favorites, Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “The Nearness of You” are always popular with the audience.

The performance will be DeRocker’s first at Feinstein’s.

DeRocker, who released a Christmas album in 2018, performed at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt in December 2022.

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