Weekend Jazz With Joyce Cooling,San Francisco based jazz guitarist, vocalist and songwriter/09-10.06.2012


Joyce Cooling, a San Francisco based jazz guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, has recorded seven albums – five of which charted on Billboard. She has to her credit two #1 singles, six Top-10 and 13 charting radio singles in all and has garnered multiple music awards including the Gibson Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year and Best New Talent in the Jazziz Reader’s Poll. She was a nominee for the California Music Awards, the Oasis Awards, and the Gavin Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Year.

Cooling has performed with Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Mark Murphy, Al Jarreau, and Charlie Byrd among other luminaries. The Christmas Song, with Lee Ritenour, and her original single, It’s Feeling Like Christmas, complete her discography.

Cooling is a self-taught guitarist from a musical family.Before deciding on a full time career in music, Cooling experimented with piano, drums and percussion. After moving to California from New York in the early 1980s, Cooling began sitting in on the percussion classes of master Ghanaian drummer, C.K. Ladzekpo. Integrating the polyrhythms of West African music with her passion for melody and harmony, Cooling focused her attention on the guitar and proceeded to teach herself to play by ear.

Cooling started out playing straight-ahead jazz in small clubs in New York and San Francisco and later met keyboardist/ producer Jay Wagner on San Francisco’s Brazilian jazz circuit.Wagner was an original member of the popular San Francisco based group, Viva Brasil. Cooling joined Viva Brasil on a part time basis in 1988 as a guitarist and background vocalist.Cooling’s and Wagner’s immediate chemistry and shared passion for songwriting resulted in their first collaboration – the 1989 independently produced and released CD, Cameo, which featured the other members of Viva Brasil at that time. The album was well received by San Francisco Bay Area radio stations and critics alike, launching Cooling’s recording career.By 1996 they had completed their second self-produced CD, Person2Person. While making its rounds to record companies, the album came to the attention of independent label, Heads Up International, who signed the duo to a two-record deal. They added four additional tracks and renamed the album Playing It Cool. The CD was released internationally in the fall of 1997.Both the CD and its first single, “South of Market”, hit #1 on the New Adult Contemporary Radio & Records charts as well as on the Gavin Report charts.

Cooling’s second Heads Up CD, Keeping It Cool, was released in the spring of 1999 and virtually duplicated the success of her previous album. Keeping It Cool generated another #1 radio hit, “Callie”, and earned Joyce the Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year Gibson Guitar Award.

In 2000, Cooling and Wagner signed with GRP/Verve Music Group and released their fourth CD, Third Wish on the fateful day of September 11, 2001.In October 2001, Cooling recorded “The Christmas Song” with Lee Ritenour for the 2001 GRP holiday compilation, Making Spirits Bright. In the following year (2002) she was a nominee for Best Jazz Artist (California Music Awards), Best Female Artist of the Year (Smooth Jazz Awards) and Best Guitarist of the Year (Smooth Jazz Awards).In 2003 Cooling and Wagner signed with Narada Jazz/EMI and in 2004 they released their fifth CD, This Girl’s Got To Play.The CD generated another Top-10 radio single, “Expression”.Cooling’s sixth CD, Revolving Door, was released as Narada Jazz merged with the Blue Notelabel in 2006. The CD produced three more charting original singles, “Mildred’s Attraction”, “At the Modern”, and “Cool of the Night”.

Global Cooling, is Cooling’s seventh studio CD and was released on April 22, 2009. The album spawned the single, “Dolores in Pink”, and was chosen as Album of the Year by PhoenixFM in the U.K.

In 2009 Cooling and Wagner officially founded their Music for the Mind program of concerts, events, and recordings that raise funds and awareness for NAMI and mental health.


  • Cameo (There Records, 1989)
  • Playing It Cool (Heads Up, 1997)
  • Keeping Cool (Heads Up, 1999)
  • Third Wish (Verve Music, 2001)
  • This Girl’s Got To Play (Narada Jazz, 2004)
  • Revolving Door (Narada Jazz, 2006)
  • It’s Feeling Like Christmas (Single-Group2, 2008)
  • Global Cooling (Group2, 2009)
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Weekend Jazz With Joyce Cooling,San Francisco based jazz guitarist, vocalist and songwriter/09-10.06.2012, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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