Renegade Duo is Jon Mendle, guitarist and Melinda Becker, mezzo soprano. Utilizing both historical and modern instruments, they perform uncommon and rarely heard repertoire for guitar and voice.
Jon Mendle and Melinda Becker first collaborated while students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. They founded Renegade Duo in 2017 with the intention of paying tribute to music they find interesting and exciting. Nimbly navigating different eras and genres, they take care to investigate and highlight stylistic differences in each using the full range and capability of their instruments, including 19th century guitar, lute, tenor banjo, and modern classical guitar.
A versatile singer, Melinda Becker enjoys performing a multi-faceted repertoire, from Baroque cantatas and Spanish and Ladino art songs, to soul and other popular music styles. She recently performed as the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, with Classical Revolution Orchestra and frequently collaborates with many Bay Area ensembles and musicians, most recently the Musical Art Quintet, Phonochrome, Oakland-based jazz band RDL+, and Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat. Active with several chamber groups, Melinda is a member of Renegade Duo with guitarist Jon Mendle and Liaison Ensemble, a female Baroque quartet bringing historically informed performances to a wide range of audiences in non-traditional venues.
Classical guitarist Jon Mendle has performed around the country since his Carnegie Hall debut at age 19 and has drawn widespread praise for his virtuosity and musicianship. His highlights include solo recitals at the 2015 Loyola Marymount University Annual Guitar Festival, the 2014 Guitar Foundation of America Annual Convention, and for presenters such as San Francisco Performances and guitar societies up and down the West Coast. A 2010 tour with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble saw Jon perform at the Tanglewood and Ravinia summer music festivals, as well as Detroit’s Orchestra Hall and other major venues.
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