Jazz dream comes true for Richmond teen

Jazz Fest dream comes true for local teen

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Jazz and Music Festival at Maymont is so close you can almost hear the music in the air.

This year you’ll see a new face on the stage, 16-year-old Lily Manayara will play alongside some of her favorite artists. For Manayara, music has always been a part of her life. She’s been singing her heart out at school in musical theater and in bands.

“Gosh, I’ve been doing music since 5th grade, so I was 9 years old,” said Manyara. “Last year I was part of a group called ‘School of Rock.’”

Her dream was always something bigger than school bands, specifically the Richmond Jazz and Music Festival.

“Like, I want to be there,” said Manyara.

In recent years, Lily has branched out to new musical talents taking a step back from singing at the microphone and turning to her other hobby, the bass guitar.

“Its really challenged me because I normally call myself a vocalist,” said Manyara. “I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone - challenge myself as a musician and an artist.”

Word eventually got out about Lily’s hidden talent and the group “Pretty Black” brought her on as a bass player.

“I’m a little bit nervous for it but I’m super excited. It just pushes me to work harder and have the best outcome I can give,” said Manyara.

Now after all of Lily’s hard work, she will be right where she wants to be on stage at this year’s jazz fest.

“It’s kind of crazy on how you put something into the universe like that and it comes back to you a year later.” said Manyara. “I feel like I’m confident in my skills enough to where I can play for other people.”

The festival is Aug. 8.

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