Maya Belardo is “a girl who loves music.” When she was 2 years old, this little songbird would sing and compose songs on her toy keyboard. Maya attended schools in her hometown, Wilmington, DE, that nurtured her love for performance, first at Kuumba Academy and then as a vocal major at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. Maya’s purpose and passion to heal and inspire through music has always been clear; she’s sung at various cultural events around the city since the age of 10. Maya didn’t know that she would be the “Princess of Jazz” until she heard the song “Nature Boy” by the king himself, Nat King Cole, while watching a movie. Infatuated with the genre, Maya researched all the legendary jazz vocalists of that era. While she loves the beauty and positivity of all jazz music, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald are close to her heart. Maya discovered her ability to sing jazz after joining the school’s jazz group, “Jazz Chords”; she then traveled around singing at various venues and jazz competitions with the group. In 2013, Maya was honored to be a part of the American High School Honors Performance Choir that gave her the great opportunity to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in NYC. She vowed to return as the headliner one day, and has been working towards that goal ever since. Maya graduated from high school and has recently moved to New York City to pursue her music career. She has been blessed to open for some amazing artists such as Kandace Springs, Jaguar Wright, Gerald Veasley, Walter Beasley and others. She was the opening headliner for the 28th annual Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in her hometown, a festival that she frequented her whole life. Maya’s hope is to use her voice to rekindle people’s love for jazz. She has the support of her community and she is humbled by all of the opportunities that have come and will come her way just by doing what she loves.