"New" Artist of the Month for March 2023
With her upcoming Verve Records debut, Linger Awhile, Samara Joy could become the next mononymous jazz vocal sensation to join Sarah, Ella, and Billie. Anita Baker and Regina King have already praised her rich, velvety voice, and she has appeared on the TODAY Show and garnered millions of likes on TikTok – cementing her status as the first Gen Z jazz singer. The timeless, irresistible sound Samara brings to Linger Awhile will introduce that massive audience to a slew of classic standards several times older than she is.
Jazz is still relatively new to Samara. During her childhood in the Bronx, she mostly listened to music from her parents’ childhoods. It is through her grandmother Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, both of whom performed with Philadelphia gospel group the Savettes, that she treasures her musical heritage, as well as through her father, who toured with gospel artist Andraé Crouch. “Sometimes I catch myself when I’m singing — I’m like, ‘Whoa, that was a dad moment’,” Samara quips. Following in her family’s tradition, she sang in church and with the jazz band at Fordham High School for the Arts, where she won Best Vocalist at the JALC’s Essentially Ellington competition. As a result, she enrolled in the jazz studies program at SUNY Purchase, where she fell deeply in love with the style.