Long Beach Singer/Songwriter Melisa Belgrade Appearing At Portfolio Coffeehouse May 21st
2011-05-04 · By Editor
Portfolio Coffeehouse, the premiere coffeehouse of Long Beach, is pleased to present a Long Beach original, singer-songwriter Melisa Belgrade, Saturday, May 21, 2011.
Born in New York and raised in LA’s free-spirited Topanga Canyon, Belgrade was surrounded by the music of rock and folk musicians from an early age. Artists ranging from Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Van Morrison, Simon & Garfunkel, and Janis Joplin shaped her early appreciation of music and a desire to follow a musical path.
As a young adult in LA, Belgrade‘s musical interests expanded to include the Pretenders, Patti Smith, David Bowie, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Also influential were the soulful music of Nina Simone and Billie Holiday, and American country classics like Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. All of these would play a role in her late twenties when she moved back to New York where she began her songwriting career.
Living in New York, Belgrade felt a need to express herself through playing her guitar and writing songs. The vibrant but raw experience of living in New York City, working as a bartender, and the daily battle for self-expression, became fodder for writing songs and eventually playing her music at open mics in the lower East Side. At this time she was also introduced to the music of Lucinda Williams and Patty Griffin, two women whose music deeply resonated with Belgrade, and inspire her as a singer/songwriter to keep writing and playing.
Back in California and now residing in Long Beach, she continues to write, sing, and play guitar. Her song “Elizabeth”, featuring Dave Alvin on guitar, can be found on Stanley Wycoff’s album Swim into the Whirl Pool. Belgrade is in the process of recording her first full-length album, and when not playing solo gigs, can be found playing rhythm/lead guitar with fellow musicians Lisa Smith and Jen Mount of The Pollyanna’z.
Melisa Belgrade will perform Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 7-9pm at Portfolio Coffeehouse 2300 E. 4th St., Long Beach, 90814. For additional information call 562-434-2486 or visit www.portfoliocoffeehouse.com/
For nearly two decades, Portfolio has hosted legions of local coffee drinkers amidst the tree-lined neighborhoods of Midtown Long Beach. This premiere neighborhood, watering hole embodies the true essence of European culture, offering a welcoming setting for friends to gather, artists to collaborate, and business colleagues to meet. Offering a wide selection of handcrafted food & pastries—and of course enticing coffee/tea brews—Portfolio also presents live music, poetry readings, and fine art exhibitions regularly in an eclectic locale. With the Art Theater on the west end (near the intersection of 4th and Cherry), and Portfolio at the east end, this block of 4th Street provides a pedestrian-friendly shopping and entertainment destination for downtown residents and visitors.