HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Jazz Concert: SAMARA JOY (McCallum Theatre in Palm Springs)

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by Tony Frankel on June 8, 2024

in Concerts / Events,Theater-Palm Springs (Coachella Valley),Tours


The jazz world has been abuzz about the 24-year-old New Yorker Samara Joy since she won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2019, and rightfully so. After releasing her eponymous debut album and then her first album with Verve Linger Awhile (which won a Grammy for both Best New Artist and Best Jazz Album), the word is spreading. But when I tell you that this young singer has the level of talent that only surfaces once in a blue moon, you’d best believe it. She has already trotted around Europe, selling out show after show, but I first caught her live at the Monterey Jazz Festival (photos below), where a gathering crowd became a throng; the patrons went wild — long and loud — after the bittersweet ballad, “Guess Who I Saw Today?” So when I say you MUST see her this Saturday night June 15, 2024 with her band at McCallum Theatre in Palm Springs, you will go, and you will thank me (get tickets here).

She performs classic songs that have stood the test of time and by her choice of repertoire she invites comparison with the great singers who have influenced her, particularly Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday. But her respectful interpretation balances tradition with the freshness of youth (her sweet personality will have you giddy) and more contemporary influences, with the result that her voice has a timeless quality that’s pure jazz. Hers is an awesomely smooth and rich voice that really knows how to handle the vintage tunes. Samara Joy is spreading beauty, harmony and happiness — and we really need her now.

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