Raised on a small farm in Spokane, Washington, Joy Adams began playing the cello at age 15 and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. Despite a string of classical adventures that included winning Musicfest Northwest, attending the Aspen Music Festival, soloing with the Spokane Symphony, and touring with the Selden String Quartet, Joy ultimately returned to her roots, joining an old-time band, the Windsor Folk Family, during her last year at Eastman. Recipient of a Mancini Fellowship at the Frost School of Music (where she also taught bluegrass songwriting, contemporary improvisation, and led the Frost Fiddle Band), Joy completed her Doctorate in 2016 with a dissertation titled The History and Evolution of the Cello in American Fiddle Music. She teaches music at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, and has been on the faculty of fiddle camps across the country. She has made over a dozen concerto appearances and has shared the stage with major artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, Bobby McFerrin, and Chic Corea. Recent highlights include performing at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Bonnie Paine, performing with The Travelin’ McCourys, supporting Rising Appalachia with Ayla Nereo, releasing Trifecta, a CD of Indian fusion music, publishing Fiddle Club Favorites for the Cello, touring the country with Darol Anger and the Furies, and performing with fiddle-cello duo Half Pelican. A prolific recording artist, Joy’s improvised cello solos can be heard on the Netflix show Godless, a soundtrack that won an Emmy Award in 2018. She earned a Grammy nomination for her role in the jazz album With Love by Jeremy Fox. In her spare time, Joy enjoys eating pie and climbing on things.
Photo Credit to Kimberly Mock.