Joyce Cooling, jazz guitarist, vocalist and songwriter is best known for her eclectic style and colorful body-moving sound. Funky, soulful, and always original Joyce Cooling is recognized as one of the most dynamic and popular contemporary jazz guitarists in the world.
Cooling is a national attraction at major U.S. Jazz festivals and has expanded her reach by playing in Asia, Mexico, and South America.
Joyce has performed with such jazz giants as Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, and Charlie Byrd. A charting single “Mm Mm Good” featuring Al Jarreau, and Christmas holiday tracks “The Christmas Song” with Lee Ritenour, and her own single “It’s Feeling Like Christmas” have pushed her to new heights of popularity while showcasing her musical versatility. In addition to a history of national radio airplay on contemporary jazz and college radio formats, Joyce is frequently heard on the Weather Channel.
Cooling and songwriting partner and keyboardist Jay Wagner have recorded seven albums, five of which have charted on Billboard.
Global Cooling released in April 2009 on the Group 2 Production label is the their latest album. Cooling has received critical acclaim for Revolving Door (2006 Narada Blue Note), This Girl’s Got To Play (2004 Narada Jazz), Third Wish (2001GRP/ Verve), Keeping Cool (1999 Heads Up) and Playing It Cool (1997 Heads Up).
Charting singles include “Mm Mm Good”, “Callie”, “Expression”, “Mildred’s Attraction” and “South Of Market”, among others.
Cooling who now resides in San Francisco was raised in the New York area in a house that was that was “filled with music”. Musical influence include everyone from Abbey Lincoln, Joe Henderson, Wes Montgomery, Cedar Walton, and Miles, to James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, and Jimi Hendrix, to Ravel, Stravinsky, Bach, and Brahms, to Hermeto Pascoal, Elis Regina, João Bosco, and Jobim.
Many of Joyce’s evenings were spent on the steps of the Village Vanguard and outside other Manhattan jazz clubs. “I was underage, but the bartender at the Vanguard saw how much I loved the music and let me hang out on the steps. I heard everybody! It was fantastic and I was hooked.”
A self taught guitarist, Joyce learned to play by ear, and has developed a personal style of finger picking, giving her playing its unique sound and feel. “I have always played that way. This wasn’t a conscious decision, it was just easier and more natural for me to first sing what I wanted to play and then play it. I was also never comfortable with a pick. I couldn’t feel what string I was on so I tossed the pick and played with my fingers. Cooling has been recognized by Gibson as Best Female Jazz guitarist.
Joyce is a national advocate for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Joyce has performed at the NAMI National and regional events all across the country. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of her CD’s are donated to NAMI.