Connor Rohrer & Samara Joy / Sachyn Mital

Samara Joy Captivated All at the Town Hall on June 21

Captivated is an understatement, if we’re being honest. The way Samara Joy fills a room is not to be missed; she shines because of her voice (of course), but because of her personality, as well.

In actuality, her smile alone could’ve lifted the spirits of everyone in attendance at these Town Hall shows, so imagine the surge of warmth in everyone’s hearts once the singer’s timeless skillset and the responsive acoustics of the venue were added in.

Yes, Samara Joy performing live in concert in her hometown of New York City at the beloved Town Hall theatre was flawless, but nothing less was expected. If anything, the song choices and the setting combined blew us away more than we thought. She also has a gratefulness about her that elevates the vulnerability of being younger and newer to the jazz scene – as a musician, but also as a fan. The 24-year-old, no matter how many accolades she gets in and out of the world of jazz, is honored to take on these gorgeous scores, expand on instrumental tracks, and explore the truly artistic bodies of work that are presented to her… and that she takes on with ease, even as a relative ‘newbie,’ which she discussed on stage during her set.

Samara Joy, the young lady at the heart of this classically established music career, is an unassuming and all-encompassing talent. As the older fans might say (and would express oh-so emphatically): “This girl could sing the phonebook.” And to translate for the growing number of fans in Samara’s own age bracket, “This girl could sing your Instagram comments.”

And even after all of that, we’d still want her to do much, much more.

Big, bold runs, the intricate use of whisper-soft harmonies, back-up band appreciation and spotlights, the lyrical and instrumental tales being told, an extended encore, and an air of authenticity has proved her a storyteller. This right here is the greatest Samara we have experienced – and longtime jazz-loving readers will love to hear that, as well as the recent fans who had caught the singer live prior to these two end-of-June performances at the Town Hall.

For a Grammy-winning jazz starlet, the artist is still discovering herself (wonderfully so) and supremely diverse. Only the surface of that was touched on during this night in NYC, too. Her family was in the house, her arrangements were expansive and jaw-dropping, and her humble reaction to the audience’s gracious applause was, for lack of better words, adorable. It’s almost as if she, too, can’t believe the texture, tone, passion, and power that her voice has. It’s a voice for all genres, all ages, and all mediums. Play her on Spotify and you’ll be swept up in a dream no matter where your feet are planted. Go see her live and you’ll be enchanted. Think of her in a Broadway show and you’ll be covered in goosebumps. (Can we make that happen?) Spin her seasonal songs during peak holiday-time and you’ll love the soundtrack of your memories. Imagine her ventures into other corners of the industry, like pop and R&B, yet all with jazz nuances, and you’ll be running to tell your friends, family, and everyone in between that this woman’s musicality offers something for everyone. She’s just that promising. We were proved that on this night and at this show.

Samara Joy’s range is versatile, so any and all Town Hall spectacles going forward could suit the songstress. The space, taller than it is wide and antique in both history and nature, has the ability to host the NYC native time-and-time again in the future. Book readings, comedy specials, lectures, concerts, and more have been hosted at the theatre, so with all Samara can do – and already showcased during her two-night debut – the Town Hall is a spectacular space for her to return to. She can show off everything and more with family and friends in the house, impress them and transport the masses, because given the stunning architecture of the Town Hall and the tricks up Samara Joy’s (hot pink) sleeves, this night was a match made in smooth, sultry, stunning heaven.


Photos by Sachyn Mital


  1. Reincarnation of a Lovebird (Pursuit of a Dream) [Written by Charles Mingus (music); lyrics by Samara Joy; arranged by Kendric McCallister]
  2. You Stepped Out of a Dream [Written by Nacio Herb Brown (music) and Gus Kahn (lyrics); arranged by Jason Charos]
  3. Day by Day [Written by Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston, lyrics by Sammy Cahn; arranged by David Mason]
  4. Now & Then (In Remembrance Of) [Written by Barry Harris, lyrics by Samara Joy; arranged by Kendric McCallister]
  5. Sweet Pumpkin [By Ronell Bright; arranged by Donavan Austin]
  6. Worry Later [Music by Thelonious Monk; lyrics by Margo Guryan]
  7. A Fool in Love (Is Called a Clown) [Written and arranged by Donavan Austin]
  8. Peace of Mind / Dreams Come True medley [“Peace Of Mind:” Written by Samara Joy and Kendric McCallister; arranged by Evan Sherman / “Dreams Come True:” Written by Sun Ra and Jae Mayo; arranged by David Mason]
  9. Left Alone [Written by Billie Holiday]
  10. Tight [Written by Betty Carter]
  11. No More Blues (Chega de Saudade) [Written by Antonio Carlos Jobim; lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes and English lyrics by Jon Hendricks; arranged by Jason Charos]


  1. Guess Who I Saw Today? [Written by Elisse Boyd and Murray Grand]
  2. Buzz Me Blues [improvised blues]