Samara Joy at Litchfield Jazz Festival

June 28, 2022

“The songs I sing have to tell stories. Otherwise, you’re just singing a bunch of notes.” That’s how vocalist Samara Joy (above photo) expressed her musical philosophy in the July/August 2021 issue of Jersey Jazz. Her major influences? “Ella and Sarah are definitely the foundation,” she said, adding that others are Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, and Etta Jones.

Joy, who won the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition (Sassy Award) will kick off this year’s Litchfield (CT) Jazz Festival with a 7:30 p.m. concert on Friday night, July 29. Others performing at the three-day event will include guitarist Mark Whitfield leading a quartet with his son, Davis Whitfield on piano, bassist Mark Lewandowski, and drummer Charles Goold; a quintet featuring clarinetist/tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski, tenor saxophonist Houston Person; pianist Ehud Asherie, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Willie Jones III; and a Sunday Jazz Brunch with the Litchfield Jazz Faculty All-Stars, a band that includes Litchfield Jazz Camp Musical Director Don Braden on saxophone and flute and Director of Operations Albert Rivera on saxophone.

The festival will be held from July 29-July 31 at the Thomas S. Perakos Performing Arts and Community Center in Washington, CT. For more information or to order tickets, log onto or call (860) 361-6285.

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