“I wasn’t sure how far I would actually go, I was just happy to be somewhere singing”Tweet
Samara says she only started listening to jazz four years ago, but since then she’s won the Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocalist Competition (2019), played all over NYC, and performed in Europe. I wish I could say that much about myself by the time I was 23!
But getting started as a late bloomer wasn’t easy, and Samara often felt discouraged — it seemed like everyone on the New York City jazz scene already had their clique. Plus, watching everyone at school have it all together when she felt so new to the music made her want to quit. So what kept her going? Encouraging words from audience members, fellow musicians, friends, and professors. Someone else believing in you can give you the power to believe in yourself.
Now Samara has released her first album, backed by the Pasquale Grasso Trio. The playful interaction between guitar and vocals, joined by bass and drums, brings new life to a timeless set of standards. This debut album is just the first of many, I’m sure.
Listen to the full interview with jazz vocalist Samara to learn more about her experience coming up on the jazz scene in NYC, what kept her going when it was hard, and the inspiration behind the song choices of her self-titled debut album.
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