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Bay Area jazz fans had known JOYCE COOLING as one of the region’s most dynamic and popular guitarists for years when her hit single, “South of Market,” and her debut CD, Playing It Cool, took the smooth jazz world by storm in 1997. Cooling was nominated for Gavin’s Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year, was named Best New Talent (Smooth Jazz) in the Jazziz Reader’s Poll and was chosen as Artist of the Year by the nationally syndicated radio show Jazz Trax. Her fourth CD and her first on GRP, Third Wish, will be released in September.

Hailing from the New Jersey/New York City area, Cooling grew up in a large family that exposed her to all of the music that would eventually shape her artistry. Music had long been the most passionate part of her life, but an actual career as a musician began taking shape after she moved to California and began hanging around an African drumming class taught by C.K. Ladzekpo, a renowned Ghanaian percussionist. Learning to play guitar by ear, she developed a personal style of finger-picking that has given her playing its unique sound.

JOYCE COOLING GROUP

Joyce Cooling, guitar, vocals

Jay Wagner, keyboards, vocals

Gary Calvin, bass, vocals

Billy Johnson, drums