Melissa, born and raised in Anchorage AK, began studying music at the age of four. As a National Merit Scholar, she graduated with honors from South Salem High School (Oregon) in 1981 and was accepted to attend the University of Washington to study classical piano. Melissa subsequently transferred to Linfield College in McMinnville Oregon to study piano with Dr. K. Jill Timmons. In addition, she was selected to be a member of the honors program and received an academic scholarship along with her music scholarships. In 1985 Melissa graduated with honors and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree.
After graduation, Melissa returned to Anchorage, where she started a private piano studio, which she maintained until 2001. She began her career as a full-time professional musician in 1985, performing in widely popular groups throughout Alaska. From 1990 to 1997 she studied at the University of Alaska-Anchorage and received a Master of Arts in Teaching. Melissa is currently a choral director at East Anchorage High School and LOVING it. East is the largest high school in Alaska and the most diverse public high school in the nation. The number of talented students in her choir is SICK! Go "T-Birds"!!!
Melissa released her first CD, "by Request" in 1998 and her second Cd "Jazzmom Returns" in 2001. Her third Cd "Jazzmom Exposed" features a talented and well respected Portland jazz guitarist along with Melissa and her bassist. In a review of this Cd, The Anchorage Daily news writes, "the most successful recording of Fischer's work, with mellow, soulful and classy renditions of (jazz) standards". In 2004, "A Merry Jazzmom was released featuring sophisticated jazz arrangements of favorite Christmas carols. With five Cd's to her name she has established herself as a highly sought after jazz pianist and vocalist and has surrounded herself with highly skilled and seasoned musicians. In March of 2002 the Anchorage Daily News called Melissa a "most impressive performer, singing with great passion and emotion." In 2005 Melissa was voted "Anchorage's Best Singer" by the readers of the Anchorage Press.
Melissa's performing experience has been quite varied. In 1987 she performed "Watch Out or the Music Will Get You!" with ALOT (Alaska Light Opera Theater) under the direction of Gloria Marinacci Allen. In 1994 Melissa was featured with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and guest artist Lauren Pelon. And, in December of 2000, Melissa was the featured vocalist with the Elmendorf Air Force Band of the Pacific as they presented their seasonal Christmas concert "Holiday Lights" at the Anchorage Center for the Performing Arts to over 4000 concert-goers over two evenings. In June of 2001, the Melissa Bledsoe Fischer Jazz Quartet was featured at the Alyeska Jazz Festival along with half a dozen national "smooth jazz" recording artists. In July of 2002, she had the good fortune to play with the legendary jazz trumpeter/flugelhornist Bobby Shew in a rare Anchorage concert appearance. Fall of 2002, Melissa began a series of monthly concerts entitled "JAZZ @ the 4th Avenue Theatre", in which she featured jazz talents from Washington D.C., San Francisco, Chicago and Portland Oregon with her group. She and her band have also opened for such notable jazz stalwarts as Mose Allison, Spyro Gyra, Randy Crawford and blues legend James Cotton. She also opened for Bob Newhart in a sold out show at the Atwood Concert Hall in April 2015.
In addition to concertizing, performing weekly at such venues as Sullivan's Steakhouse, Platinum Jaxx, and the wildly popular summer jazz series at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Melissa is a busy mom with the four children. She and her husband, Tony, are the proud parents of Sarah, Matt, Rachel, Rebecca and two dogs – Rooney and Bailey.
Melissa Bledsoe Fischer
2960 Drake Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508