On-Demand: Samara Joy
On-Demand • SFJAZZ At Home

Samara Joy

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On-Demand: Samara Joy

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originally filmed on May 17, 2024

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Samara Joy

Tonight on Fridays Live, SFJAZZ presents one of the most exciting new voices in jazz today - Samara Joy. She captivated the judges and the audience with her stunning rendition of “Lover Man” at the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, earning her the first prize and a recording contract. Her debut album Linger Awhile showcases her exquisite tone, impeccable phrasing and expressive interpretation of classic standards and lesser-known gems and earned her two GRAMMY nominations including Best New Artist. For this special concert, she is joined by a superb group including Luther Allison on piano and Evan Sherman on drums. Tickets are sold out in person, but you still have a chance to witness the dazzling talent of Samara Joy through SFJAZZ At Home!

The close precision and frothy power of her voice stand out immediately, and so does the depth of her comfort within the jazz tradition.
The New York Times on Samara Joy

Still in her early 20s, Samara Joy is already setting the music world ablaze. Her 2022 Verve Records debut Linger Awhile earned her two well-deserved GRAMMY wins, for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best New Artist — the first time a jazz musician has won the prestigious newcomer’s award since Esperanza Spalding over a decade ago.

Hailing from a family of musicians in the Bronx with roots in gospel, Joy began her journey with jazz at age 17, winning Best Vocalist honors at Lincoln Center’s “Essentially Ellington” competition. Within two years she was a star student of piano legend Barry Harris and bowled over a panel including Christian McBride, Jane Monheit, and Dee Dee Bridgewater to win the 2021 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition.

Since then, Joy’s profile has risen exponentially through the release of her self-titled debut in 2021 and winning Best New Artist in 2021’s JazzTimes Critics Poll. She has introduced legions of young fans to the Great American Songbook through her TikTok account and released Linger Awhile to rapturous acclaim.

It’s not an accident that Joy was signed to Verve Records — the label built specifically around Ella Fitzgerald — since the young singer is clearly on the path to continue the tradition of the First Lady of Song and conquer new worlds along the way.

Setlist, Personnel, & More

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