Melissa is a Toronto-based jazz/pop vocalist. In September, she released her third studio album My Voice which features a mix of original and cover songs. On Nov. 10, she’s playing a show at The Bassment in Saskatoon. Here are six songs she considers favourites. /Gregory Beatty

Morning Benders, Big Echo (2010)

The orchestration is rootsy, yet epic. Lyrical poetry: we are beyond our living forms, our actions, our sins, our fun. My husband Nathan and I played this song a lot at the start of our love affair. I surprised him at our wedding by singing it; guests join in on the backgrounds. YouTube

“No Woman No Cry”
Bob Marley and the Wailers, Natty Dread (1974)

I spent the summer of ’96 riding in cars with boys with this album playing. When I hear the original Marley version, I’m taken back to the youthful state of impermanence: a strange place between independence and need. YouTube

“Summer Wind”
Frank Sinatra, Summerwind (1965)

During my adolescence I performed with the Toronto Allstar Big Band. Not only did I fall in love with old swing and jazz, I met friends who would be my family for life. “Summer Wind” represents concepts so simple but so hard: movement, change, goodbyes. I sing this song to my daughter and reflect on how fleeting her youth is. I let myself feel the truth and pain, and embrace the change. YouTube

“Dos Gardenias”
Buena Vista Social Club, Buena Vista Social Club (1997)

My father has always loved this band and everything Cuban. This song makes me think of my youth and vacation drives. Since I was young I seemed to have an innate (and surprising) ability to salsa, merengue, cha cha! YouTube

“I Have Nothing”
Whitney Houston, The Bodyguard Soundtrack (1992)

As a girl I heard Whitney’s voice and was in complete awe. I spent HOURS copying every lick and pitch-matching in my room. To have such an instrument is insane. One could practice their whole life, but if they did not naturally have it, it would never be as good as Whitney. I respect that. YouTube

“I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good”
Keith Jarrett, The Melody at Night, With You (1999)

In university, I had to transcribe a 15-minute piano solo by Keith Jarrett on this cover of a Duke Ellington tune. The more I listened and transcribed, the more the song hit me in the heart. It was the first time a song without words made me cry. When I later learned of the song’s words, I fell in love with it all over again. YouTub