Joy Zimmerman is a touring folk & acoustic roots singer-songwriter cultivating joy and community with a clear, rich voice. A multi-instrumentalist and former social worker, Joy brings audiences hope, humor, and connection. Her newest album, Where the Light Lives, debuted at #6 on the Folk Alliance International (FAI) Folk Chart Top Albums August 2023. Dani Goodband of Lakeside Music says this album “should be in every folk music lover’s collection.”

Joy began playing violin the summer before she began walking to kindergarten. Many miles of classical music later, Joy picked up a guitar, found her voice, and reinvented herself midlife. During this metamorphosis, she discovered a talent for songwriting. Joy has been awarded an American Songwriter Lyric Contest Honorable Mention, ten Walnut Valley Music Festival NewSong Showcase wins, and Heartland Song Network Artist of the Month.

Performing as a solo artist or with other musicians, Joy blends storytelling with her eclectic songs. At home on guitar and violin, she loves adding fiddle tunes along the way. Her voice of honey and ginger leaves you wishing you'd heard her sooner.

Joy's music is "vivid and alive, tender and poignant, and altogether a gift for the listener" (Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas Poet Laureate Emeritus). She has recorded nine albums of original music, including a live performance. Her previous album, The Canvas Before Us, reached #8 on the FAI Folk Chart in August 2021.

Believing in the power of collaboration, Joy currently serves on the board of directors of the Folk Alliance Region Midwest and the Transformative Language Arts Network. She curated a portrait exhibit at the InterUrban ArtHouse based on her song, "Women Who Walked on Water” through an Artist as Activist grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Joy is an ArtistINC alumnus, co-chair of the Power of Words conference, and former Artist of Note with the Humanities Community Outreach Series.

Joy’s music has been featured on Northern Spirit Radio's Song of the Soul, (Re)Learning Leadership podcast, Hootenanny Cafe Radio Show, KKFI Local Showcase, Tasty Brew Music Radio Show and Podcast, Wednesday MidDay Medley, Kansas NASW Advocacy Day, Together Women Rise International Women's Day Celebration, and Folk Alliance Region Midwest DJ Showcase

Prior venues include Lakeside Music Concert Series (KS), Green Guitar Folk House (KS), On the Tracks Songwriter Showcase (MI), Louisville Arts Center (CO), Labyrinth Concert Series (MO), Kirby Street Concerts (MI), Knuckleheads (MO), Stone Room Concerts (DC), InterUrban ArtHouse (KS), The Warming House (MN), InterContinental Hotel (MO), Open Range Concerts (MN), Stories & Songs Series (OR), and Taos Inn (NM).

"Cultivate Joy" adorns Joy’s merchandise.

Where the Light Lives - #6 Top Album | Folk Alliance International Folk Chart (August 2023)

How Shall We Sing - #3 Top Song | Folk Alliance International Folk Chart (August 2023)

If I Should Fall Behind - #11 Top Song | Folk Alliance International Folk Chart (August 2023)

FARM Folk DJ Showcase (2023)

Top Ten Current Folk Releases on Kansas Public Radio- (2021) (2023)

Artist as Activist Award - Mid-America Arts Alliance (2022)

Heartland Song Network Artist of the Month (2022)

Artist INC Program Graduate (2022)

The Canvas Before Us - #8  Top Album | Folk Alliance International Folk Chart (August 2021)

Women Who Walked on Water - #4 Top Song | Folk Alliance International Folk Chart (March 2022)

We'll Hold the Light - #16 Top Song | Folk Alliance International Folk Chart (February 2021)

Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Songwriting Contest 10x winner (2011-2020)

American Songwriter Lyric Contest - Honorable mention


Where The Light Lives (2023)              The Canvas Before Us (2021)            Shed a Little Light - Live (2021)             To the Girl (2019)                                Lights Along the Way (2017)                  Say My Name (2016)                         Mosaic (2014)                                        Grey Matter (2014)                                Until the Dawn (2013)  

"Joy is a multi-instrumentalist (fiddle, guitar and more) with a beautiful voice. Add all that to her insightful writing and you have a show any host would line up to present to their audience. Book Joy Zimmerman for one of the best evenings you can offer your audience."        ~Dani Goodband, Lakeside Music

“​Joy has a wonderfully unique way of connecting to her audience that I have seen no other performer do...she engages every audience and wraps everyone in a velvet blanket of beautiful music.” 
~Peggy Kelly, Open Range Concert Series