At 23, Samara Joy is already setting the music world ablaze and making her case to join the likes of Sarah, Ella, and Billie as the next mononymous jazz singing sensation. Her Verve Records debut, Linger Awhile (2022), garnered her two well-deserved wins for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best New Artist. Her voice, rich and velvety yet precociously refined, has already earned her fans like Anita Baker and Regina King, appearances on the TODAY Show and millions of likes on TikTok — cementing her status as perhaps the first Gen Z jazz singing star.
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.