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

"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 (feat. Katie Dahl) - #11 Top Song | Folk Alliance International Folk Chart (August 2023)

FARM Folk DJ Showcase (2023)

Women Who Walked on Water - #4 Song of the Month on the FAI Folk DJ chart (March 2022)

 The Canvas Before Us - #8 Top Album of the Month on the FAI Folk Chart (August 2021) 

We'll Hold the Light - #16 Song of the Month on the FAI Folk DJ chart (February 2021) 


Heartland Song Network Artist of the Month (2022)

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

Artist INC Graduate  (2022)

 Kansas Public Radio Top Ten New Folk Releases (2021, 2023)

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

American Songwriter Songwriting Contest - Honorable Mention (2017)

Venue References 

 "Book Joy Zimmerman for one of the best evenings you can offer your audience. Joy is a multi-instrumentalist (fiddle and guitar), 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. " ~Dani Goodband, Lakeside Music

"Whether she's strumming her guitar or fiddling her fiddle, Joy Zimmerman brings a voice of angels to her music. I've booked her before and I'll book her again."  ~Mike Paget, Green Guitar Folk House

“​Joy has a wonderfully unique way of connecting to her audience...she engages every audience member and wraps everyone in a blanket of beautiful music."  ~Peggy Kelly, Open Range Concert Series

Reviews of Joy's new album, "Where the Light Lives"

"Joy Zimmerman's follow up to her very fine 2021 album, The Canvas Before Us, is an even better representation of her considerable singing, songwriting, and violin playing skills. If I had to choose one adjective to describe this album, it would be "uplifting." Even when dealing with difficult topics, Joy finds a way to an affirming, positive place. It's difficult for me to pick which of these songs will get the most play on my radio show, as there are so many good ones." ~Bob McWilliams, Host of Trail Mix, Kansas Public Radio 

"Joy Zimmerman has the knack for taking an audience on a musical journey with storytelling and music in a way few artists are able to do. With her latest album, Joy surpasses even herself. This album should be in every folk music lover's collection." ~Dani Goodband, Lakeside Music


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), Taos Inn (NM), and Folk Alliance Region Midwest Folk DJ Showcase (IL).