Ruth Naomi Floyd

" I am grateful to God that I am able to express my faith as a Christian in a context of music that is one of America's greatest gifts to the world in the arts and humanities." - Ruth Naomi Floyd

RUTH NAOMI FLOYD is a gifted vocalist-composer who has been at forefront of creating vocal jazz settings that express Christian theology for over 13 years. As a leader, she has released several highly acclaimed recordings. Blessed with a soaring mezzo-soprano voice, critics have praised Ms. Floyd’s music for its distinctive sound of progressive ensemble jazz that is seamlessly blended with explicit Biblical messages of unwavering faith in God.

Ruth Naomi Floyd leads her own multi-faceted ensemble and her recordings consist primarily of original compositions. Her association as the co-founder of Contour Records ® affords her complete artistic freedom to record her own works and collaborate with a diverse range of musicians.

Ms. Floyd has recorded and/or performed with such notable instrumentalists as James Newton, Gary Thomas, James Weidman, Jay Hoggard, Bryan Carrott, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ralph Peterson, Jr., Uri Caine, Charles Fambrough, Julian Joseph, Craig Handy, Reggie Washington, Matthew Parrish, Mark Prince, Ed Howard, Tyrone Brown, T.K. Blue, Bobby Zankel and Greg Tardy.

Ruth Naomi Floyd, is the daughter of urban missionaries. She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From a child she embraced the Christian faith and its immense body of music served as a constant influence and vital part of her life. She began to develop and share her musical talents as a young child by singing in church choirs and studying piano, flute and bassoon.

In 1994, Ruth Naomi Floyd released her debut recording, Paradigms for Desolate Times as a 12 song-cycle relating to themes of faith in salvation and rising above the difficulties of everyday life. Following a 1997 performance of these songs in London, England; The Times of London offered this important commentary:
“Ruth Naomi Floyd is a woman with a mission. She writes and performs songs whose lyrics either quote scripture or roughly paraphrase it. Unusually, however, instead of operating in the musical area generally associated with gospel singers such as Mahalia Jackson, Floyd is an out-and-out jazz singer ... Floyd’s voice highlights not only her superb dynamic control, flexibility and faultless diction, but also her most important asset: an unmistakable emotional integrity that conveys her music’s power to even the most recalcitrant non-believer.”

Inspired by her reading of the biblical passage from Romans 12:2; Ruth Naomi Floyd titled her 2nd recording, With New Eyes. Released in November 1997, With New Eyes was recognized as one of the best jazz vocal recordings of 1997 by jazz critic Gene Seymour for the national African American news magazine Emerge.

In 1998, Ms. Floyd began a creative collaboration with pianist James Weidman. New York based since 1978, Mr. Weidman has earned a reputation as an exceptional vocal accompanist and sideman in demand for several notable ensembles. He has performed and recorded with some of the world’s most celebrated jazz vocalists, such as Abbey Lincoln, Cassandra Wilson and Kevin Mahogany.

Ms. Floyd’s collaboration with James Weidman resulted in Mr. Weidman serving as the Producer for her 3rd release, Walk and Not Be Faint. Released in 1999, Walk and Not Be Faint presented original material based upon Scripture from the books of John, Jeremiah, 1 Kings and the Psalms. In a Los Angeles Times review; jazz critic Don Heckman offered the following observation:
“This may sound like an arena far removed from the more familiar jazz environs, but the quality of the music and, especially, Floyd’s solid vocal skills make the album consistently rewarding... Floyd’s vocals steer well clear of the overdone gospel-based techniques dominating so much of pop singing. At heart, she is clearly a jazz artist using her creative vehicle of choice to express her profound beliefs...”

In 2002, Ruth Naomi Floyd released her 4th recording, Fan Into Flame as a concept album based upon the New Testament Scripture of 2 Timothy 1:6-8. Cadence Jazz Magazine described this recording as “another powerful jazz recital from Ruth Naomi Floyd.” In a review in JAZZIZ magazine, jazz critic Bill Milkowski characterized Fan Into Flame as “a musically superb, soul-nourishing offering”. Mr. Milkowski went on to describe Ms. Floyd as an “immensely gifted singer with an incredible range and openness to pushing the envelope artistically.”

In November 2006, Ruth Naomi Floyd marked her 5th recording with the release of Root to the Fruit. Produced by pianist- arranger James Weidman, Root to the Fruit is perhaps Ms. Floyd’s preeminent conceptual work to date as this recording conceptually seeks to offer listeners a body of work that musically illustrates the historical nexus between the origins of African American Christian faith and jazz music.

Ruth Naomi Floyd is also a committed music educator. She teaches music at Spruce Hill Christian School in the City of Philadelphia and she has recently been appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Vocals in the Church Music Program at Philadelphia Biblical University of Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

Ruth Naomi Floyd continues to make the City of Philadelphia her home where for over twelve years she has been devoted and active in providing compassionate care and spiritual support to people affected by HIV and AIDS.

YouTube Video Clips of Ruth and band in action here!

Root To The Fruit


Scriptural Inspiration: John 15:4-8 and Colossians 3:16

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."

"Five hundred years ago, the church reformer Martin Luther affirmed, “Next to theology, I esteem and honor music.” Those who care deeply about theology often debate and deliberate over questions of what’s best and proper for Christian music. They inquire, for example, about what styles can carry sacred texts. Or, more to the point of this project—and, in terms related to this project—they sometimes disagree on whether a jazz idiom is an assistant to the Gospel, or whether it obscures the message. Even more blatantly, some may suggest that jazz obfuscates this objective truth with too much rhythm and subjectivism. “Root To The Fruit” will endure as
a prime exhibit within that dialogue, even as Ruth Naomi Floyd launches another virtuosic volley. Ears should be delighted by this movingly artful testimony. It speaks
for itself. After listening with ears wide open, I’m personally led to conclude that jazz
may be the optimum creative form for proclaiming the unchanging Truth of God’s
Word. Floyd’s jazz speaks to our edgy, multiethnic, postmodern world." - Dr. John Nunes.

        Hear audio samples here >>            


Fan Into Flame  

Scriptural Inspiration - 2 Timothy 1:6-8

"I remind you to fan into flame the Gift of God which is in you... For God did not give us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord...

"Artistically, our creative team was drawn to the emotional character and beautiful nature of the language used by Paul to encourage his younger protégé, Timothy to remain faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And Paul chose to do this, even though at that particular moment in Paul's life, he was in prison and knew that he would soon be executed. And despite that reality, what did Paul choose to do with his remaining time on earth? -- He did not lament or "cry the blues" as we say, he chose to use his remaining time on earth to inspire and encourage another Christian to remain faithful to God." - Ruth Naomi Floyd


         Hear audio samples here >>            

Walk And Not Faint

Scriptural Inspiration - Isaiah 40: 28-31

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength"

The original concept for Ruth's third CD, Walk And Not Be Faint, comes directly from the book of Isaiah 40: 28- 31. One of the things that this passage reminds us is that God is the beginning and the end and He is always here. We wanted to communicate that regardless of what the future holds, God remains and He will outlast all things. Collectively our lyrics expressed our assurance of knowing that when we grow tired and weary, if we continue to hope in the Lord He will renew our strength.

  Audio samples

  We Celebrate >>

We Are One In The Spirit >>

A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing >>


With New Eyes

Scriptural Inspiration - Romans 12:1-2

            "Be not conformed... but transformed".

Musically, With New Eyes seeks to offer the listener a diverse range of sounds and varied compositional approaches to illustrate our quest to see things "with new eyes".

The concept for Ruth's second CD, With New Eyes is based on the scripture found in Romans 12:1-2. "With this CD, my creative team and I were expressing how our faith in God inspires us and commands us to have the courage not to conform to the pattern of the things in the world that are rooted in the absence of God. Rather, this scripture essentially states that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through God's power in order for us to be able to see those things which are good and of the perfect will of God."

 Audio samples 

Reap What You Sow >>  

With New Eyes >>

Stand To The Glory >>



Paradigm For Desolate Times

Scriptural Inspiration - Galatians 5:22-25

The themes of Ruth's first CD , Paradigms For Desolate Times, Ruth shares that, "I sought to address and musically communicate my belief in the importance and necessity of embracing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, especially during the times in this world when our lives seem desolate. In my mind, I found the inspirational basis for my debut CD from This scripture teaches me among many other things, that we can show the fruits of the Holy Spirit by our behavior."

Audio Samples

 Abide With Me >>  

 Come Sunday >>  

For more information about Ruth visit: her website at:


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