From Detroit, MI hails percussionist and songwriter JoVia Ljiljana Armstrong. JoVia began studying percussion as a high school freshman. By her senior year, she was section leader in the symphony orchestra, the symphony band, the concert band, the percussion ensemble, and the jazz orchestra. She was also a percussionist in the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra. She enrolled at Michigan State University as a percussion performance major where she continued to perform and study orchestral percussion (including 4- mallet marimba/vibraphone).
In her sophomore year at Michigan State University, she began to study African Cuban percussion and drum set with performer and educator Francisco Mora-Catlett. She also studied and performed with various on-campus ensembles of different genres. These genres included African drumming & dance, Latin Jazz, and also Korean drumming. Performing the styles of Gospel, R&B, Jazz, African, and African Cuban has provided her with versatility not found in every musician.
After earning a B.A. in Music Business at Columbia College Chicago, she quickly relocated back to Motown in 2002. Since her move back to Motown, she has performed with various artists such as El DeBarge, Martha Reeves, Omar, Joe VasConcellos, RES, Alison Crockett, Angela Johnson, Maysa, Rahsaan Patterson, Eric Robeson, Gordon Chambers, Conya Doss, flautist Nicole Mitchell, Althea Rene, Nadir, Wendell Harrison, BSTC. She played Cajon (box drum) for the “Tour of the Americas 2004”. The group performed original and traditional songs of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Argentina. She has also performed with various artists opening shows for such acts as Warren Hill, Kindred the Family Soul, Thomas Maputo, Gerald Albright and The Bad Plus. She has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Amp Fiddler, Trey Anastasia and Michael Frantic & Spearhead.
Currently, Jovia is composing songs for her World Jazz group, Mosque Noire. They were nominated for two Detroit Music Awards in 2009, 2010, and 2011 for Outstanding Jazz Recording ("Good Hair") & Outstanding World/ Reggae Group. Jovial was nominated as well for Outstanding World/ Reggae Instrumentalist. She has been busy writing songs and arrangements for various artists. Her debut album, "Fuzzy Blue Robe Chronicles" was released in 2009.