Joya Sherrill

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Joya Sherrill (August 20, 1924, Bayonne, New Jersey – June 28, 2010, Great Neck, New York[1]) was an American jazz vocalist and children's television show host.

Sherrill began her career with Duke Ellington in 1942, at the age of 17, and was a member of his orchestra from 1944 to 1946. She had a hit with Ellington's tune "I'm Beginning to See the Light". Subsequently, she worked as a soloist, performing with Rex Stewart, Ray Nance, and others into the 1960s. She returned to Ellington for 1956's A Drum Is a Woman. She toured the U.S. in 1959 and then took a role on Broadway in The Long Dream. She toured with Benny Goodman in the USSR in 1962 and then returned to sing with Ellington in 1963.

From 1970–82 she had a children's television show, Time for Joya, later called Joya's Fun School. In the 1980s she hosted a children's show in the Middle East.


She died of complications from leukemia in 2010 at the age of 85. She was survived by a son, a daughter, a sister and two grandchildren.


As leader

As sideperson with Duke Ellington:

  • Black, Brown and Beige (Columbia, 1943)
  • The Carnegie Hall Concerts (January 1946) (Fantasy)
  • Greatest Hits (RCA, 1996)

As duo


  1. ^ Keepnews, Peter (July 8, 2010). "Joya Sherrill, Who Sang With Ellington and Goodman, Is Dead at 85". The New York Times. Retrieved July 22, 2010.