"...Mela's drumming is expressive and rudimentary perfect, laying down an expansive palette, while not crowding his fellow accompanists." All About Jazz

"Mela also has one of the most mercurial and quickest-thinking brains in music and can be both powerful and lucid, turning on a dime from an almost other-worldly, hallucinatory voice to a musician with a painterly, patrician demeanor."

Latin Jazz Network

"High quality is assured, and Mela’s faith is also our faith that he can be definitely validated as one of the most valuable drummers of the contemporary jazz" Jazz Trail

“It’s Tree of Life’s compositions and performances that really thrill. At times stoking straightahaed flames, other times seemingly aiming for Mwandishi-like fund and fusion." Downbeat

“To witness the innovative jazz drummer and composer, Francisco Mela, live in action is to stand visually and sonically arrested by his out of this world talent and razor sharp skill born out of a relentless pursuit to elevate his craft. Yes. He’s that good.”

Johnathan Eaglin, irockjazz.com

"Mela proves to be a most versatile musician and band leader. With artists like him at the helm the future of modern jazz and fusion is certainly in good hands!"

Jazz Inside Magazine

"No one in St. Paul last weekend had a bigger smile or bigger heart than drummer Mela...The beats make you want to dance, the energy sufficiently contagious to take you through the night. Which was a good thing, because the best came last, when Mela and some of his bandmates turned up to jam at the Artists Quarter. Somehow the vibe of the after-hours crowd and the heat from pianist Jon Weber’s earlier sets ignited Mela and company to a more free-wheeling act of spontaneous combustion on the AQ stage. And always that smile!"

Jazz Police

"Mela is in the forefront of a progressive post-bop scene that includes collaborators like his sometime boss Joe Lovano, as well as Mark Turner, Jason Moran, et al." 

Boston Phoenix

"...the thrum of Afro-Cuban folk music and the thrust of contemporary post-bop, Mr. Mela is a bandleader on the rise..." -Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“Today Francisco Mela is one of the most important Cuban's drummer in jazz”

Jazz Times





© 2019 Francisco Mela

Photo © Janneke Michels