Student 2021 Class > Amy Azzara
Amy Azzara is a twenty-one-year-old vocalist and songwriter from Rochester, NY. Raised in a musical family, she has always been surrounded by music. A Downbeat Award winner, she is currently studying Jazz Vocal Performance at the University of Miami, where she sings lead soprano in the top jazz vocal ensemble and learns from renowned jazz educators at the Frost School of Music.
Amy takes every opportunity she can to record, gig, write, and sing. Music is an essential piece of her identity and the way she interacts with the world. She gigs in the Rochester and Miami areas and is always working on a project of some kind.
As a child, she learned songs by ear through her immersion in music both in the house by her family and through recordings. She grew up singing songs with her family and friends on the back porch. For her, music and life have always been inseparable.
She is grateful to have studied with Yuri Yu, Charlie Christensen, Alison Wedding, and Dr. Kate Reid at the Frost School of Music. Under their guidance, Amy has explored artistry, technique, facility, and versatility of the voice. She is deeply appreciative of Dr. Reid for introducing her to new tunes, sharing knowledge about the voice, and assisting in shaping and honing Amy’s technique, improvisation, artistry, professionalism, and overall approach.
Amy strives to stand out in her approach, using the voice in instrumental settings, always serving the lyric when singing them, and stretching the boundaries or expectations of the voice. She is particularly interested in improvisation and honing her musicianship. She has been focusing most recently on transcribing as much as she can. Amy owes much of her development to her parents, who have always surrounded her by loving people and excellent musicians. She learned most of what she knows from the way she was brought up.
Amy has recorded for the series Jump Right In and Developing Musicianship Through Improvisation, and for various projects through the Frost School of Music. Most recently, she tracked background vocals on two arrangements by Shelly Berg for Nurse Heroes Live, an event featuring Leslie Odom Jr., Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Allen Stone, and Carole King.
Amy teaches voice and beginning piano lessons through the Miami Community Arts Program. Teaching is humbling and she loves playing a part in the learning process and passing along what she has learned from her teachers.
Thank you to Alan Jones, Jeremy Fox, and Christine Guter, who each inspired her to pursue the study of jazz voice. Thank you also to Karie Templeton, Laura Jean Diekmann, Lara Rhyner, and Skip Greer who guided Amy through her high school years. The Geva Theatre Summer Academy (’17), the NYSSMA Conference All-State jazz choirs (’16-’17 and ’17-’18) and singing during the Rochester Jazz Festival were experiences that shaped Amy’s relationship with music and deepened her love for singing.
Amy looks forward to attending JAS Academy in Aspen, Colorado in July 2021.