LifestyleJazz phenom Samara Joy brings her talent and family roots to D.C.

Jazz phenom Samara Joy brings her talent and family roots to D.C.

It’s been a busy and fun ride for jazz phenom Samara Joy since she won two Grammys earlier this year. At age 23, she received Best New Artist and Best Vocal Performance honors, a rare feat in the music industry. 

This joyful season, Samara Joy is on tour with a new holiday album, performing with the McLendon Family – three generations of her family who fueled her love of music. The Birchmere presents “Samara Joy, A Joyful Holiday, Featuring The McLendon Family” at Strathmore on Dec. 23. The concert is sold out.

The new album “Samara Joy: A Joyful Holiday” brings the vocalist to the D.C. area, featuring four of Joy’s family members, including her father, Antonio McLendon, her uncle Laurone McLendon, and her cousins Tiera Lovell Rowe and Thomas Niblack. 

Fans of the Grammy-winning jazz singer may have recently seen her perform “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” with her father at the National Christmas Tree Lighting a few weeks ago. 

The tour stop at Strathmore gives audiences a chance to understand Joy’s singing foundation. The McLendon family is a renowned gospel group going back to Joy’s grandparents. Antonio has a fabulous voice, as evidenced by the Christmas tree lighting event. He toured with Andre Crouch, the late gospel singer and composer.

A family holiday album for Joy was in the planning stages in 2022. When the Grammy nominations were announced last year, the album production accelerated.    

“It is a small sample for the holiday season,” said Samara Joy in an exclusive interview with The Washington Informer. “There are tracks with me and my father and singing in smaller sets with my family.”

The upcoming concert at Strathmore also includes Samara Joy singing jazz, which is how many fans have grown to love the talented vocalist. Her sound brings together a deep knowledge of classic jazz vocalists like Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter. In fact, Samara Joy nailed her rendition of Carter’s “Tight” during the 2023 DC Jazz Festival. 

With this tour, audiences will see the connection between Samara Joy’s incredible talent and the music foundation of her family.

“They kind of see me as an anomaly. The question has always been, where did this come from,” said the singer when fans tried to figure out her sound. “I am proud to finally answer the question that this has kind of been a family-known thing. The tour will show both of that.”

With an outstanding performance at this year’s DC Jazz Festival, Samara Joy’s fans, who were lucky enough to get a ticket, will be thrilled to see her back in the area.

For more information, go to birchmere.com.

Source: Washington Informer

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