Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Joyce Cooling, 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 contemporary jazz guitarists in the world.  

Bay Area Jazz fans have known and loved Joyce Cooling for years, but it wasn’t until she, and keyboardist/producer Jay Wagner, released her debut CD, Playing It Cool, in 1997 that the rest of the world took notice of this dynamic singer and guitarist.  The album and its debut single, South of Market, took the Contemporary Jazz world by storm, ranking #1 on the Gavin and Radio & Records Contemporary Jazz charts for five consecutive weeks.  Cooling won Gavin’s “Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Year” and was named the “Best New Talent” in the Jazziz Readers’ Poll.  The popular nationally syndicated radio show JazzTrax concurred, naming her “Artist of the Year.”

Cooling’s 1999 follow-up release, Keeping Cool, proved her staying power.  The single Callie brought her back to #1 on the charts.  Cooling also earned the Gibson Guitar Award as “Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year.”

Female jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling with jazz instrumentalist Jay Wagner
Female guitar player Joyce Cooling


"...the reining queen of contempo guitar."

- Guitar Player Magazine



"Best of all, Cooling managed – in an era of brightly shining guitar stars – to glow with a uniquely personal creative energy of her own."

- Los Angeles Times

Cooling’s accolades continued with her 2001 release, Third Wish, which featured a performance by Al Jarreau and produced two more Top 10 radio hits.  Her 2004 release, This Girl’s Got to Play, merged her love of Contemporary and Brazilian  Jazz with groove-oriented music full of substance and creativity.  In 2006 Cooling released Revolving Door, which showcased her renowned fluid, swinging, Bluesy-Jazz technique, as well as her lyrical, soulful, and inventive skills as a songwriter.  More Top 10 hits ensued.

Cooling’s went on to release the albums, Global Cooling & Living Out Loud, earning her yet another #1 single and even more Billboard Top 10 hits.  

Female jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling

 Joyce, along with Jay Wagner, has recorded nine albums - six of which charted on Billboard. She has to her credit three #1 radio singles, nine top 10, and sixteen charting singles in all. 

A self-taught guitarist, Cooling learned to play by ear and developed a personal style of finger picking, giving her playing a unique sound and feel.  Joyce's collaboration with Jay Wagner has proven magical and they continue songwriting together on a full-time basis. “Songwriting is as much, if not more, a part of who I am as a musician.” 

The West Coast guitarist has a large contemporary jazz following, but her influences, which include blues, rock, and Brazilian grooves, help set her performances apart. ”

— Washington Post

Musicianship: First-rate all the way. ”

— Music Connection


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