Award-winning urban-jazz pianist Kayla Waters is a chart-topping recording artist, composer, producer and music director. After signing a multi-album record deal with Trippin N’ Rhythm (SONY), Kayla made Billboard history by becoming the first female pianist and composer to reign atop the charts at the No. 1 spot for 6 consecutive weeks. Beautifully composed and eloquently written, Kayla’s sophomore album, “Coevolve” has dazzled the hearts of many and awarded her two Billboard No. 1 singles “Zephyr” and “Full Bloom.” Recently, Kayla’s musical achievements have been extolled on prestigious platforms, as she was honored with the Rising Star in Jazz award (Black Women in Jazz and the Arts Foundation of Atlanta) and the Best Jazz Artist award (The Wammies & The Musicianship) in Washington, DC where she is based. This polished young woman premiered with the Billboard No. 1 single “I Am” from her debut album, “Apogee.” Both the single and album hit Billboard’s yearend charts, underscoring her remarkable breakout year. The spotlight has humbly created opportunities for Kayla to play and perform with music legends and prominent recording artists, including Stevie Wonder, Patrice Rushen, Avery*Sunshine, Maysa Leak, Kim Burse and Ray Chew to name a few. Passionately alluring, Kayla gracefully flourishes on stage, having played exhilarating and exuberant concerts at intimate venues, illustrious theaters and acclaimed festivals such as the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Berks Jazz Festival, Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Catalina Island Jazztrax Festival, Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, Music City Jazz Festival, Capital Jazz Supercruise and the Algarve Jazz Festival in Portugal. Poised with purpose, the luminous artist shined brightly on national television at BET’s acclaimed “Black Girls Rock” awards show, revealing her tenacity and versatility by performing with legend Gladys Knight, Marsha Ambrosius, Corinne Bailey Rae and Imani Uzuri. The keyboardist was also invited to be a featured performer at the inaugural Fender Rhodes Fest in Los Angeles alongside a host of music contemporaries.
A classically trained pianist who grew up in a jazz household, Kayla’s parents observed her innate passion for music when as early as 10-months old, “baby Kayla” frequently made her way into the living room and began “playing” the family’s Brentwood piano. Enrolling in piano lessons at the age of six, she instantly fell in love with music and fervently began mastering her gifts. The daughter of urban-jazz saxophonist Kim Waters, Kayla closely observed the inner workings of the music industry by studying and admiring his successful career; it naturally inspired her to pursue her calling as a solo jazz pianist. In addition to being featured on several of her father’s albums, she has performed with him at various concerts and jazz festivals worldwide. These experiences nurtured her creative artistry, serving as fertile ground for Kayla’s evolution as an emerging artist, composer and producer.
As a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Howard University where she earned a degree in Piano Performance, Kayla credits the institution for her success. Spiritually grounded, she serves as Associate Music Director at Grace Brethren Church in Maryland and delights in the opportunity to share her God-given gifts of music in ministry. Firm in her faith and wholly aware of her unique purpose, Kayla never loses sight of God divinely orchestrating her every move.