EDITOR’S NOTE: LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN. When my laptop was sent for emergency repairs last week, I lost access to my editorial calendar for this blog. For some reason, I assumed Samara Joy’s engagement at Bop Stop was December 10, and I rushed a post to preview the gig, never thinking that I could check Bop Stop’s site to confirm the date. The correct date, of course, is December 17, which gave me enough time to rewrite the preview to incorporate my conversation with Ms. Joy, and you can read it all below. Seriously folks, don’t miss this show. She’s extraordinary and you’ll be able to say you saw her when.
The walk to the stage at Cain Park for this year’s Tri-C JazzFest was longer than I expected, but I was still able to hear the opening act, albeit long before I could see the stage. The tricky changes of the verse of “Stardust” sailed out into the early autumn afternoon like a warm breeze, pitch-perfect and phrased with uncanny grace. Comparisons are invidious, but here was a singer with the vocal lushness of a young Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald’s preternatural musicality, as delusional as that description might sound.