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Artist Stories Series: Carmen Ruby Floyd

July 29 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Join us as the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS) and New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) co-host an Artist Stories Series, a series of weekly one-hour virtual conversations exploring the importance of equity, inclusion, and representation in the classical music, jazz, and Broadway world. Featured guest speakers include Toyin Spellman-Diaz, Kelly Hall-Tompkins, Jeff Scott, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Sean C. Jones, and Weston Sprott discussing what it means to navigate a professional music career.

In addition to the sharing of personal experiences, the artists will have the opportunity to impart their insights into needed actions to reinforce accountability and pursue responsive outcomes in American orchestras, music education, and the music industry. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions for the artists in advance, to be answered during a Q&A portion of each session. The six-week webinar series is free and open to the public.

CLICK HERE for Zoom login and to register for this webinar.


Carmen Ruby Floyd grew up with God, love, joy, and music. The love for singing began with her mom, Alice, and her siblings, the Gayles Family Singers, who traveled the country performing their original gospel music. Although the performance bug caught her early, she also carries a great sports legacy: Robert Floyd, Jr., her father, played in the American Basketball Association and his father, Robert, Sr., was a member of the historic Negro Baseball League playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. Once enrolled at Niagara University, Carmen Ruby Floyd attended an open call for Disney’s The Lion King, booking the role of Shenzi in the original Toronto cast. She came to New York City to play the part of Tiny Lee in the show Langton Hughes’s Little Ham (AMAS Musical Theater). For her role in Little Ham, Floyd received a nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for the AUDELCO Awards. Critic Bruce Weber said of her performance, “The swagger and big voice of Carmen Ruby Floyd provide… a shot of star quality and star charisma…” and Broadway.com said, “Best of all is Tiny’s “Big Ideas’’….sung by Floyd with a wistfulness and eventually giant powerful belt….leaves you wanting nothing but more.” She followed the nomination with an AUDELCO win for Best Cast in a Musical for the show, Crowns at Second Stage, originating the role of Yolanda. Floyd then joined the Original Broadway Company of the Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q and received the coveted Broadway Gypsy Robe, awarded to the ensemble member with the most Broadway shows under their belt. In her fourth Broadway show, After Midnight, Floyd delighted audiences with her wordless but thrilling rendition of “Creole Love Call.” She originated the role at Encores! City Center under the show title Cotton Club Parade. The New York Times said, “Ellington’s lyric-free but gorgeous ‘Creole Love Call’ is delivered by Carmen Ruby Floyd with a hypnotic simplicity, her voice taking flight in tandem with the swooning melody, which seems to glimmer visibly in the air before you.” – Charles Isherwood.

Last seen on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!, Floyd had the honor of understudying the role of Dolly Levi played by legends Bernadette Peters, Donna Murphy, and Bette Midler. She was first African American Dolly on Broadway since the iconic Pearl Bailey. Proudly, she has performed several times for former President Obama and Mrs. Obama, as well as former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A few other favorites include Whoopi Goldberg, Natalie Cole, Bryan Cranston, Diana Ross, Tom Hanks, Oprah, Jimmy Fallon, Janet Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Renee Fleming, Jim Carrey, and Aretha Franklin. She has worked with Tina Fey, Gladys Knight, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Fantasia, Hugh Jackman, and mentor Vanessa Williams, whom she now tours with around the world. Along with her stage work, Floyd has been seen in commercials and heard in voice-overs. Television roles include appearances on Orange is the New Black, Person of Interest, The Super Bowl XLVII, The Tony Awards, One Life to Live, Law & Order: SVU, and The Traveler.


July 29
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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