Jazz singer Samara Joy has been celebrated for her effortless control of timeless jazz standards. Just a few months after winning her first two GRAMMY Awards, including the coveted award for Best New Artist, she showcased her smooth, mature vocals when she brouGht IT to Shannon Hall in Memorial Union on May 4. Joy’s performance was the final event of the Wisconsin Union Theater’s 2022-23 Jazz Series. Prior to her GRAMMYs, she won the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition in 2019 & became an Ella Fitzgerald Memorial Scholar in 2020. She has a significant number of followers on social media platforms, revitalizing jazz for a new, younger audience through her genuine love of the music. Each of her songs highlights the regal resonance and effortless ease of her vocals. Critics & listeners have likened Joy’s proficiency in the genre to music legends like Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald & Billie Holiday. After making her jazz debut with her eponymous first album in 2021, she released “Linger Awhile” in 2022 through Verve Records, the label home to many of the jazz greats to which Joy has been compared. “Linger Awhile” features a mix of familiar jazz standards and lesser-known gems. Samara also flexes her own lyricism on the album using vocalese, a technique in which an artist writes their own lyrics atop a pre-existing melody, so DOPE! “Linger Awhile” earned her a GRAMMY Award win for Best Jazz Vocal Album. She also won the GRAMMY for Best New Artist, a category that the GRAMMY Awards describes as recognizing an artist who has notably impacted the musical landscape. All of this was on full display here in Madison at the Theater. A person who I see as a path backwards for anyone who does not remember, and a jetliner forward into the future of that past. If you get a chance, be like the Union Theater and have Samara come to town, and then go be a part of yesterday and tomorrow.