Jazz Artist committed to a lifelong journey of evolution and creating timeless music!
Some individuals may recognize early in life their dreams yet only a
few dedicate themselves to the actual realization of those same
dreams. And then there’s Jua.. Jua brings a vocal sound reminiscent of
jazz and soul singers such as Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson, Donny
Hathaway, Will Downing, and Luther Vandross. However, Jua’s rich voice
resonates with a combination of depth and fresh emotion that is
“Jua” (Swahili for the “Sun”) was born January 6, 1979 in Chicago,
Illinois; home of the “Musical Melting Pot”. Encouraged to share this
talent, by the time his family moved to Alabama in 1989, Jua had
developed an undeniable love for singing. He continued performing as a
soloist with choruses and church choirs, in school musicals, community
pageants, fashion shows and weddings throughout high school. During
his junior year in high school in 1996, Jua was selected to perform
with the Alabama All-State Boys Choir. That same year, he was awarded
not only the “Best Choral Member” award by the Alabama Boys State
Chorus but received a full four year vocal scholarship to the
University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama.
Before moving to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Emory University, Jua
participated in the annual highly regarded All-Atlanta Chorus Gospel
Christmas performance with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. While in
college, Jua continued singing in talent shows and athletic events
including the 1998 AT&T Professional Tennis Championship where he
accepted the invitation to sing the National Anthem.
Revisiting his gospel background, Jua was a member of the Emory
University Voices of Inner Strength Gospel Choir from 1997-2000.
The year 2000 found Jua in London, England studying abroad. Attempting
to take full advantage of his time in the UK, Jua continued to hone
his craft at Open-Mic night performances at local London clubs and
Returning to the States with newfound aspirations, Jua graduated from
Emory and returned to his hometown. Back in Chicago, Jua directed his
energy to honing his craft and started by taking vocal lessons from
Sondra Davis, a now close friend and musical mentor.
In 2002, Jua moved to the Washington DC area where he pushed forward
with his dream of being a professional artist. Jua performed with a
couple of local groups before landing a prized opportunity to gig with
the legendary Blackbyrds as a featured background vocalist.
Determined not to wait for a major label to determine his musical
destiny, Jua self-released his debut album Anticipation in October
2007. Jua’s other musical projects include being featured on
Contemporary Soul Songbook: Volume I released by Soul Unsigned that
fuses neo-soul, jazz and funk, as well as, a soundtrack for the novel,
7:33 a.m. written by Monda Webb; both projects were released in 2009.
After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, Jua attended the
California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, CA and was the first
recipient of the prestigious Mark Murphy Vocal Scholarship. Currently,
Jua is working on his sophomore project "Colors of Life" and deepening
his commitment to artistic growth and integrity.
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......