Carlos Melendez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and started playing guitar at the age of 10 years old. He thrilled to the sounds of R&B (Ray Charles and James Brown) and the classical guitar of Andres Segovia, who enticed his ears with his recordings.
At 12 he was already learning the “essential blues” licks or phrases from the Vinyl recordings of the late Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton and the great B.B. King. At 15 he began studying classical guitar for about three years with a “very talented” guitar teacher named Daniel Morrison.
His interest in jazz guitar led him to work professionally in the recording studios for several years while at the same time playing, listening and learning jazz music on the side.
He taught guitar at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music’s Jazz Dept for the multi talented saxophonist, composer and educator Marco Pignataro, with whom he counts himself privileged to play.
He also worked with artists Jose Feliciano, saxophone great Sonny Fortune, the late flute legend Herbie Mann, The Drifters, Danny & The Groove, The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, Grammy award-winning saxophonist David Sanchez, legendary jazz bassist Eddie Gomez, and award-winning composer and pianist Roger MacNaughton.
He has also recorded with jazz flutist virtuoso Artie Webb for Atlantic records, the late great jazz pianist Paul Neves, and keyboardist Mark Gray, among many others.
Currently he lives in Michigan with his wife, directs the Alma College Jazz Band, teaches guitar lessons and works as a guitarist doing local gigs with a bunch of fantastic local musicians!