With pure joy in her voice ...

Staff reports

A few weeks ago, singer-songwriter Joy Ike did a short set at A White Horse Black Mountain open mic that made a strong impression - So much so that she’ll be back at the venue on Thursday, Nov. as a headliner who  invokes jazz, soul, and African-American roots music in her original songs.

"The depth of the subjects she tackles in her poetic lyrics is perfectly complemented by a unique blend of neo-soul, with just the right dash of pop, a truly compelling act to watch in person, with the ability to create an intimate setting in locations big and small,” a write-up on NPR’s "All Things Considered" states. Sharing the bill with her will be Virginia-born singer-songwriter Alexa Rose.

Joy Ike puts jazz, soul and African-American roots music in her original songs.

Born to Nigerian immigrants, the Philadelphia-based Ike has a voice and writing style that have invited comparisons to Corinne Bailey Ray, Regina Spektor, Norah Jones and Fiona Apple. Her spare but percussive piano playing (she also plays guitar and uke) and soaring vocals pay homage to her African heritage while embracing styles of the American-African diaspora.

Leaving a career as a publicist in 2008, she’s built a career around a “play anywhere for anyone” aesthetic, from house concerts and coffeehouses to concert halls. She’s since played more than 800 shows and shared the stage with a number of established artists.

Ike was featured in a 2013 segment of NPR’s "World Cafe" as one of Pennsylvania’s finest up-and-coming artists. She’s recorded two CDs, "Rumors" (2010), and "All or Nothing" (2013).

Alexa Rose grew up in southwest Virginia, surrounded by the deep musical culture that earlier gave rise to the Carter Family and innumerable other Appalachian musicians. As a child she would write songs about bears in her bedroom window and yodeling from the top of her parents’ mountain home.

Rose's original songs still bear the imprint of those years, but she and her blue electric guitar, “Fruit Loop,” now call the Carolina mountains home.

Open mic success

Who: Joy Ike, with Alexa Rose

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $10