The sounds and styles of New York vocalist/composer Jocelyn Medina cross cultures, creeds and continents. Her original music fuses elements of Brazil, Spain, Africa and India with jazz harmonies, neo-soul/funk grooves and adventurous improvisations delivered through compelling lyrics and a distinct sound. Whether by means of an unexpected melodic turn, a hook that leaves you hopeful, or the rich resonance and dexterity of her voice, she seeks to touch on each listener’s individual experience with messages of universal truth and an inventive artistic approach.
Born into a family of singers, Jocelyn determined her identity as a musician at the tender age of five through choirs and piano lessons. She later pursued opera work at Stanford University, earned a Bachelors degree in Professional Music from Berklee College of Music, and a Masters in Vocal Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music. Further musical explorations brought Jocelyn to Ghana, West Africa, as well as Salvador, Brazil, and most recently 6 months teaching, performing and studying in Mumbai, India, where she was exposed to more of the wide-ranging elements that continue to inspire her creative projects. In addition to her degree credentials, Jocelyn is certified in all levels of master vocal pedagogue Jeannette LoVetri's Somatic Voicework™, a functional, body-based method of vocal training whose techniques have been adapted by a number of her previous and most influential teachers, including vocal jazz virtuosos Theo Bleckmann and Luciana Souza.
Between her formal studies, Jocelyn gathered much of her eclectic mix of artistic influences during the four years she spent living and performing abroad in Madrid, Spain. Before returning to the United States, she recorded her first full-length CD of original compositions, “The Journey Begun," featuring fellow expatriate musicians Dan Rochlis (guitar), and Bob Sands (tenor sax), as well as legendary Spanish harmonica player Antonio Serrano. In 2011 she released her second album of original work, “We Are Water," featuring flutist Rodrigo Ursaia, guitarist Miles Okazaki, pianist Kristjan Randalu, bassist Aidan Carroll, and drummer Bodek Janke, which topped national and international jazz radio charts and continues to receive wide-spread air play and flattering reviews. On June 1st, 2017, she released her third album, “Common Ground," blending jazz with the world music styles of India and Africa. This latest project features Art Hirahara on piano, Pete McCann on guitar, Evan Gregor on bass, Mark Ferber on drums, Hadar Noiberg on flute, Robert Levin on percussion and two virtuoso masters of Indian music, Steve Gorn on bansuri flute and Samir Chatterjee on tabla.
As an educator, Jocelyn has over 18 years of experience as a private voice instructor to all ages and levels. Outside of her vocal studio, she has worked as a choral music and ensemble director in public education throughout the 5 boroughs, as a teaching artist with MIMA (Music Improvisation and Media Academy), as a vocal jazz ensemble coach for Fordham’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, and as Head of the Vocal Department at the True School of Music, an affiliate school of Manhattan School of Music, in Mumbai, India. As a Master Class Clinician, Jocelyn has been invited around the world to present workshops in voice, composition, improvisation and vocal jazz to students at both the college and professional level. In addition, she currently serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at LaGuardia Community College, and is on the voice faculty of the Bloomingdale School of Music, the Dalton School and the New York Jazz Workshop School of Music.
As a bandleader, she has toured with jazz ensembles at venues and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and South America, including Spain's JAZZPARLA festival, Alte Feuermache in Mannheim, Germany, Voicingers Jazz Festival in Zory, Poland, the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, India, and the Goethe Institute in Salvador, Brazil. Her most recent U.S appearances have been at such NY venues as Jazz at Kitano, the Iridium Jazz Club, Cornelia Street Café, Bar Next Door, Zinc Bar, and 55 Bar with her own group, at Lincoln Center with the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, and at Carnegie Hall with Calpulli's Music of Mexico. Since moving to New York City in 2005, she has established herself as a unique and powerful voice in the local jazz scene.
Currently based in Brooklyn, Jocelyn plays regularly throughout the New York City area showcasing her compositions, and curates and hosts a weekly vocal jazz concert series and jam session at Luca's Jazz Corner on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In addition to her original repertoire, she sings, plays percussion and arranges for her Brazilan/World-Jazz project, sings and drums and with the NJ-based Rhythm Monsters West African ensemble, and is a member of the classical Brooklyn Conservatory Chorale.