Melinda Colaizzi

Just two percent of music producers are women, and no woman has won a Grammy for producer of the year. Melinda Colaizzi is on a mission to change all of that and more. A recipient of The Aerosmith Endowment Award & World Scholarship at Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music, Melinda is driven to erase the gender disparity in both the music industry and women’s health research.

She founded Women Who Rock to host events focusing on women in music, along with an annual concert showcasing an all female-fronted lineup that benefits Magee-Womens Research Institute. The Forest Hills native released her latest EP, The Night Sky, in 2018.

What upcoming events are you excited to attend?

Beach Blanket Babylon in San Francisco. I’m extra excited to catch the holiday pop culture performance edition of this staple San Francisco event.

Sheila E. (L) and Melinda (R) at Women Who Rock 2018. Ashley Faye Photography.

What is the best part of your job?

The opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of women is incredibly important, and being able to create and grow projects from the ground up. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, so I’m very passionate about creating, and watching an idea come to life.

What is your big idea for Pittsburgh?

To help make Pittsburgh a city that’s known for its great music scene and talent. We have so much amazing talent in our city, and need more platforms including performance, networking and educational opportunities to develop and showcase that to the world. I would love for Pittsburgh to be known as a music city, similar to Nashville, Austin and Los Angeles.

Podcast you’re addicted to?

Song Exploder. It’s a great podcast that features musicians talking about the creative process behind writing and producing their songs. One episode that really stands out is Andra Day breaking down her song “Forever Mine.” The producer plays the raw vocal track she cut in the studio and her vocal delivery is flawless, hitting the listener with 100 percent emotion and authenticity.

Write three words to describe Pittsburgh:

Resilient. Effervescent. Kind.

Melinda Colaizzi. Kelli Beavers Photography.

Your not-so-secret Pittsburgh spot?

The Andy Warhol Museum.

Fill in the blank: In Pittsburgh, I can’t live without my:

Pennsylvania Macaroni Company. What else would you expect with this Italian last name?

Favorite place you’ve traveled to in the past year and why?

Honolulu. It was my first time experiencing Hawaii, which was total paradise, and the trip was extra special because we traveled there for a friend’s wedding.

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Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.