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Women in Jazz: Joyce Cobb & Rhodes College Jazz Band

  • Benjamin Hooks Library 3080 Poplar Avenue Memphis, TN, 38111 United States (map)

The Rhodes Jazz Ensemble, the college’s big band, is directed by John Bass and performs multiple times per semester on campus and around Memphis.


Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and reared in Nashville, Joyce Cobb first sang in her grandmother’s church. At an early age the influence of music was present in her home environment. Both parents were avid music lovers, with an emphasis on Jazz.

Joyce’s career spans from live orchestrations for Nashville’s WSM radio and television stations, to live performances in Europe.  She landed a record deal with a subsidiary of Stax Records just before the label folded, but continued her recording career with West Coast-based Cream Records.  Under the direction of Wayne Crook of Shoe Productions, she wrote, sang, and performed the single "Dig the Gold" that earned her a NO.42 spot in Billboard Magazine. Maestro Alan Balter, conductor of the Memphis Symphony, heard her sing at the Peabody Hotel in 1990 and Cobb has since been invited to perform with the symphony on numerous occasions.