For the past 12 years, Calgary jazz musician Mo Melin has lived in the Caribbean, where her talents with the saxophone has had her playing with names like John Legend, Percy Sledge and the Commodores.
Now, she’s bringing her music to Stettler for a single performance, connecting with her childhood memories where she spent her summers with her grandmother, Doris (Stitt) Aunger.
“I’d be there all summer and it would just be me,” Melin said of her summers with her grandmother, before she remarried. “I’d go with her and her friends out and about. I’ve so many memories.”
Her grandmother was heavily involved at the Stettler Legion, so when it came to playing a show there, Melin didn’t hesitate. It was a place she had gone many times with her grandmother, and it connected on a personal level.
Melin spent several years in the Canadian Military’s band corps, where she played all over the country, including Stettler. Once free of the regiment, though, she ended up in St. Maarten.
“I came back and it was 40 below so I went back,” she said.
She hadn’t gone to the Caribbean island to play music, but when the friends she had there learned she could play, she called home and had her saxophone shipped down. There, she quickly became a fixture.
She helped found One White Chic, an eight-piece funk/soul band, and ended up being an opening act for John Legend and Percy Sledge at the Hennessey Artistry Concert. In 2014, she opened for The Commodores at the Heineken Regatta – think the Calgary Stampede of Jazz/Soul festivals.
“It was time to come home, though,” she said. “I need to settle my roots again.”
Melin will be performing at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26 at the Legion, and everyone’s invited to come join in for an evening of fun, food and great music.
Musicians are invited to bring their own instruments, as the evening’s a casual jam night, too.