Photo by Meredith Truax

Samara Joy’s Verve Records Debut, Linger Awhile, Out September 16

​​“The close precision and frothy power of her voice stand out immediately…so does the depth of her comfort within the jazz tradition.” – The New York Times


Once-in-a-generation vocalist Samara Joy has signed with Verve Records and will release Linger Awhile, her full-length debut for the label, on September 16. At just 22 years old, Samara has already garnered critical acclaim for a voice “as rich as custard” (The New York Times) and a delivery that is “disarming [and] unhurried” (NPR Fresh Air), just as she has built a devoted following on TikTok and made avowed fans of Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, and others. The Bronx native took home the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition prize while still in college and performed on The Today Show earlier this year. Hailed as an “exciting boundary-stretcher” by the (The Boston Globe), Samara also made her “glowing, auspicious debut” (NPR) at the Newport Jazz Festival last weekend, earning multiple standing ovations in the process.

Linger Awhile finds Samara updating beloved songs with a modern twist, sometimes singing original lyrics using the melodies of famous instrumental solos, a style known as vocalese. Recorded at Sear Sound in New York City and featuring exemplary musicianship by Pasquale Grasso (guitar), Ben Paterson (piano), David Wong (double bass), and Kenny Washington (drums), the tracklist is comprised of reinvented classics including “Someone to Watch Over Me” (George Gershwin), “’Round Midnight” (Thelonious Monk), and “Nostalgia (The Day I Knew)” (Fats Navarro). Linger Awhile not only highlights Samara’s timeless vocals and a musical wisdom beyond her years, but it also introduces this foundational popular music to a fresh audience.

“I am deeply honored to be a part of a roster that has included so many of my greatest vocal inspirations: Sarah, Billie, Ella, and Betty to name a few,” says Samara about her Verve debut. “Being a part of this lineage is humbling, and I will continue to use all of the inspiration gleaned from them to pursue my own unique journey as a singer and an artist.”

Samara Joy has also announced a new string of 2022 tour dates throughout Europe and North America. The young vocalist will play club dates, festivals and cultural institutions, plus highly-anticipated NYC hometown shows at The Blue Note. Later this year, Samara will perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a handful of dates across the midwest before several holiday shows in December. Check out the full touring schedule below.

Music has always been a guiding presence within Samara’s family. Her grandparents, Elder Goldwire and Ruth McLendon, led the well-known Philadelphia-based gospel group, The Savettes, and her father toured with the renowned Andrae Crouch. Although her earliest influences are the gospel and R&B sounds of Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway, George Duke, and Musiq Soulchild, Samara fell in love with jazz while attending Fordham High School for the Arts, where she performed regularly with the jazz band and eventually won Best Vocalist at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition. Samara attended SUNY Purchase and recently graduated as the Ella Fitzgerald Scholar.


Meet 22-year-old Samara Joy in the video below, filmed during her Umbria Jazz Festival residency:




Watch the visualizer for the lead single “Can’t Get Out of This Mood”




Samara’s new single from Verve Records:


Samara Joy 2022 Tour Dates

August 5 – Denver, CO – Dazzle/Aspen
August 6 – Tulsa, OK – Lowdown
August 10 – New York, NY – Little Island
August 13 – Martha’s Vineyard, MA – Tabernacle on Oak Bluffs
August 19 – Aspen, CO – JAS at Aspen Art Museum
August 20 – Springfield, OH – Springfield Jazz & Blues
August 24-25 – Washington, DC – Blues Alley
August 26 – Atlanta, GA – Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
August 27 – Charlotte, NC – Middle C
September 1 – Cincinnati, OH – Caffe Vivace
September 2 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blue Llama
September 3 – Stevens Point, WI – Stevens Point Fest
September 4 – Menasha, WI – Fox Cities Festival
September 8-9 – Philadelphia, PA – South
September 10 – Albany, NY – Riverfront Jazz
September 12 – New York, NY – The Blue Note
September 14 – Durham, NC – Duke University
September 16 – Boston, MA – Sculler’s
September 17 – Lake George, NY – Lake George Jazz Festival
September 18 – Pittsburgh, PA – August Wilson
September 20 – Berkeley, CA – Freight & Salvage
September 23 – Monterey, CA – Monterey Jazz Festival
September 24 – Chicago, IL – Rockefeller Memorial Chapel (duo w/Pasquale Grasso)
September 26 – New York, NY – The Blue Note
September 28 – Albuquerque, NM – Outpost
September 29 – College Station, TX – Rudder Theatre
September 30 – Phoenix, AZ – MIM
October 1 – Costa Mesa, CA – Segerstrorm Center
October 2 – Half Moon Bay, CA – Bach Dancing & Dynamite
October 7 – Azores, Portugal – Angra Jazz
October 11-12 – Cologne, Germany – King George Jazz Club
October 14 – Toulouse, FR – Jazz Sur Son 31
October 15 – Nancy, FR – Nancy Jazz Pulsations
October 17 – Bordeaux, FR – L’Auditorium de Bordeaux
October 18 – Comeilles-en-Parisis, FR – Theater duComier
October 20 – Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, FR – Culture House
October 21 – Occitanie, FR – Saint-Mamert-du-gard
October 22 – Lisbon, Port – Seixal Jazz Festival
October 24 – Barcelona, Spain – Barcelona Jazz Festival
October 25 – Paris, FR – New Morning
November 3 – Indianapolis, IN – Shelton Auditorium
November 4 – Appleton, WI – Lawrence University
November 6 – Bronx, NY – Wave Hill Public Garden
November 10-13 – Chicago, IL – Jazz Showcase
November 18 – Storrs, CT – Jorgensen PAC
November 20 – Blue Bell, PA – Montgomery County CC
November 27-28 – Minneapolis, MN – Big Band Holidays w/J@LC Orchestra
November 20 – Eau Claire, WI – Big Band Holidays w/J@LC Orchestra
December 2 – Wilmington, DE – Christina Cultural Arts Center (HOLIDAY SHOW)
December 3 – Germanton, MD – Black Rock Center for the Arts (HOLIDAY SHOW)
December 5 – St. Louis, MO – Big Band Holidays w/J@LC Orchestra
December 7 – Austin, TX – Big Band Holidays w/J@LC Orchestra
December 9 – Phoenix, AZ – Big Band Holidays w/J@LC Orchestra
December 14-18 – New York, NY – Big Band Holidays w/J@LC Orchestra
December 20 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere (HOLIDAY SHOW)
December 21 – Philadelphia, PA – The Ardmore (HOLIDAY SHOW)
December 22 – Arlington, MA – Regent Theater (HOLIDAY SHOW)
December 23 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Universal Preservation Hall (HOLIDAY SHOW)