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Jua Howard

Jazz Artist committed to a lifelong journey of evolution and creating timeless music!

About Me

Incredible how it’s been over ten years since Jua Howard was making quite a name for himself in neo-soul circles, crooning in velvety tenor tones reminiscent of Luther Vandross and Donny Hathaway in clubs from New York City to London. “Anticipation”, his 2007 self-released debut CD of mostly original mid-tempo tunes and ballads, was picking up play on Smooth Jazz and R&B stations. Yet Jua, who uses only his first name professionally (Swahili for “sun”), was having second thoughts about his musical direction. The Chicago-born singer says, “With the R&B neo-soul scene, everything started to sound the same.”

While living in the Washington D.C. area and working for Howard University, Jua gigged as a background vocalist with the legendary Blackbyrds, the band best-known for such 1970s hits as “Walking in Rhythm” and “Happy Music.” “Jazz was clearly a big part of their foundation,” he says of the Blackbyrds.

“Singing with them made me think seriously about pursuing a career in jazz.”

During the summer of 2009, Jua moved to the San Francisco area and enrolled at Berkeley’s Jazzschool Institute, now known as the California Jazz Conservatory. As one of the inaugural students in their Jazz Vocals program, he became the first recipient of the Conservatory’s Mark Murphy Vocal Jazz Scholarship, named for veteran poll-winning singer Murphy. Jua also studied privately with vocal coach Raz Kennedy, formerly of Bobby McFerrin’s “Voicestra”, while there.

In June 2014, Jua emerged as a unique and highly emotive jazz vocal stylist with the release of his sophomore recorded project “Colors of Life.”

Currently residing on the East Coast, Jua continues songwriting, performing and working on his next project.

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My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it allows me the musical freedom to explore a plethora of ideas without being placed in a restrictive box. I can be me and be appreciated for what it means to be "JUA" the artist. I was first exposed to jazz through the timeless Nancy Wilson and her unique interpretations of so many classic songs inspired me to not only want to be a better vocalist, but to find and develop my own signature sound. I continue to strive in accomplishing these goals......

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