Joy Katzen-Guthrie's vibrant music & one-of-a-kind performances inspire & uplift with a message of insight, life experience, & worldwide unity & harmony from generation to generation. Composer-Lyricist, Pianist, Vocalist, Cantorial Leader , Speaker/Presenter — Joy uniquely weaves history & storytelling with traditional, contemporary, & original songs from pop, stage, film, & world genres that celebrate the human spirit and truly bring joy. With her husband Mark, she operates Tune-of-the-Century Music® (a division of Katzen and Guthrie Associates, Inc.) remote/studio recording & production services, broadcast & studio design & integration.
A Memphis, Tennessee native, Joy's home has been the Tampa Bay area since 1981 with a versatile career in broadcast, music performance, studio recording, and speaking services. Moving to Florida after receiving BA & BFA degrees magna cum laude & cum laude in Broadcast Communications & Music from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, Joy joined Tampa Bay's WPLP/News-Talk Radio, rising within a year-&-a-half from Traffic Director to Executive Producer to Operations Manager while appearing simultaneously as an opening & featured performer. She maintained her radio career with WUSA-FM, WDAE-AM, & WXCR-FM, gradually shifting to voiceover, performance, recording, & composition. Returning as radio host in June 2019, Joy took over as Programmer/Host of Tampa Bay’s 40-year community radio broadcast, The Sunday Simcha, on WMNF 88.5 FM, & in August 2019 was named WMNF’s 2019 New Programmer of the Year.
Joy is a longtime (since 1999) instructor and concert artist for Eckerd College OLLI (formerly Eckerd Senior College), Eckerd Road Scholar (formerly Eckerd Elderhostel), University of South Florida OLLI, Academia Hernando, Grand Edventures, JCC Learn-Inn & many other programs locally & nationally. Her astonishing catalog of more than 100 courses includes lectures & class series in music ( musical theatre, vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, film, jazz, folk, popular, classical, music therapy & healing), biography, dance, Jewish interest (history, culture, music, faith), women's interest, faiths of Asia, The Silk Road, modern and historic China, Remote Jewish communities of China, Asia, & The Diaspora. Additionally, beginning in 2009-2010, Joy starred as Edna Ferber in a one-woman dramatization entitled Edna Ferber … Magic or Madness? by St. Petersburg playwright Jan Taylor. The production was received with accolades on nine Central Florida Eckerd College OLLI campuses in addition to other Central Florida venues.
Cantorial leader, worship leader, music presenter, speaker/instructor, concert artist, & workshop leader for synagogues, Unity, New Thought & other congregations nearly four decades, Joy is a longtime visiting congregational Cantorial Leader, Artist/Scholar in Residence. She has been a member of Unity of Palm Harbor's Music Team since 2006 & served as Music Director for Unity Center For Today in Tampa for 9 years prior. She is High Holy Days Cantorial Leader for Aviva Living of Sarasota & has served pulpits as Cantorial Leader for Congregation Beth Am (reform) of Tampa, Temple B'nai Israel (reform) in Clearwater, Temple Shir Shalom/Gainesville (reform), Congregation B'nai Emunah/Tarpon Springs (reform), Congregation Aliyah/Clearwater (conservative), the B'nai B'rith Hillel Foundation of Tampa (conservative) & Temple Beth El of Bradenton (reform). She has additionally served as Music Director, Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and for decades has provided musical direction and/or accompaniment for numerous theatrical and residential community productions, JCC and congregational productions, and artist concerts.
Beginning in 2000, in arrangement with Regent China Tours, Joy began developing & serving as Scholar in Residence for Jewish Heritage Tours to China & Turkey in addition to serving travel agencies as a developer of heritage tours to Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, Alaska, & Cuba. She has been a contributing writer to Encylopedia Judaica on the subject of the Jews of Alaska, & her photographs, interviews, & research have appeared around the world in connection with articles of the Jewish communities of the Diaspora & China.
Joy has received appointments to the Florida Artist Residency Directory, funded by the State Division of Cultural Affairs. [Artist Residencies place practicing, professional artists in Florida Schools & Community Colleges to teach all aspects of their art form]. Joy has twice been awarded Arts Resource Fund Performance Arts Grants from the Pinellas County Arts Council. She is a member of the roster of Empower Music & Arts writer/recording artists & the Women Cantors Network. Her original music is published in the WCN collection, Kol Isha & in the collection New Thought Holiday Music.
Joy serves as President of her Stephen College Alumnae Class and actively volunteers with community organizations. She is passionate about the arts, education, and animal rescue and care.
Joy Katzen-Guthrie has given tens of thousands of programs and thousands of concerts —online, in concert halls, theaters, classrooms, lecture halls, workshops, seminars, conferences, congregations, arts communities, museums, retreats, home concerts, studios—and in 11 published recordings—melding a repertoire of over 4,000 songs of current and historic world genres plus original compositions with history, community, memory, & personal joy and insight.
From The Tampa Tribune: “The music here is full of personal revelation and celebratory wonder, but it is refreshingly happy in its absolutes. And groovy, too. Hold it, a happy album? When was the last time you heard one of those? Free of angst, minus preachy platitudes, Katzen-Guthrie manages what so few singers do — to make you feel hopeful without being weighed down by sickly sentiment. She sings her anthems softly, mixed in with groovy guitars, cool cellos and all sorts of other instruments, showcasing a voice that has rare sing-along quality.”
From Donna Klein, founder of Tampa Bay's Women Musicians Alliance: “Joy is a marvel on the keyboard, making her playing seem effortless. Her compositions, as well as her adaptations of others' songs, reflect the summation that it is her life. When she sits down at the keyboard, starts playing, smiles that warm smile of hers and sings to your heart, well it's just inspirational!”
Joy's 11 self-published CDs include SpiritVoice Greeting Card/CDs I Bless My Body & Profound Blessings and Gratitude with guided techniques for physical and emotional well being and original and cover songs. Soul Stream contains original meditative music. Her albums of original music—
A New Song to God, Passages & A Steadfast Bridge—have been used for worship services, birth ceremonies, funerals, family reunions, rallies for social action, theatrical productions & in hospitals and hospices. Favorite Melody Vol’s. 1 and 2 include Joy's arrangements of classic standards. Seasons of Joy, The Heart of Ancient Promise, & How Good and How Pleasant include Jewish liturgical, Israeli, & Yiddish songs.
Joy's continuing program for students, Of Musical Note, bringing professional musicians to schools & community centers to explain their instruments & craft & involve children in music, was described by Tarpon Springs Montessori Academy Director Gail Gilmore as an “opportunity to explore culture beyond the limit of four walls.”