Joanna was born in 1969 and grew up in Southport (U.K.) At the age of 6 she began to study Ballroom Dancing, competing throughout the U.K. winning 5th place at the World Juvenile Ballroom Dancing Championships at the Royal Albert Hall in London. At 7 she found an Anita O’Day L.P. and immediately fell in love with jazz in all its many styles but the turning point however, which was to mark her future, was when at 15 years old she discovered Judy Garland. In her very early teens she began working in the theatres of Liverpool and Manchester singing and dancing in various musicals of which; “Annie” and “The Piper Of Hamelin.” At 17 she was spotted by a model talent scout in Covent Garden and began modelling literally all across the world for the “Elite Model Management” realising fashion editorials, fashion shows and commercial and T.V. work all of which for clients the likes of: Vogue Italia, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Ferrè, Romeo Gigli, Vivienne Westwood, Armani, Sony, Suzuki...... and working with photographers; Helmut Newton, Corrine Day, Tony Duran, Alfa Castaldi, Carlo Pieroni, Toni Thorimbert... She chose as a base Milan
In 1997, feeling she had accomplished all she wanted to Joanna retired from the fashion business, and decided to dedicate herself once again to singing jazz and passed the following 3 years studying. In the year 2000 she began working professionally as a singer in the jazz field. In that same year, accompanied by the Red Cat Jazz Band from Sanremo, performing “traditional jazz” was invited to record 12 signature tunes for the famous show “Zelig” on Italia Uno on Italian National T.V. She also cut 2 albums with the Red Cat Jazz Band; “Zazou” and “Al Bal Tic Tac.”
Following on from this exposure Joanna began to work with her own band on the Italian jazz scene performing: jazz standards from the American Songbook, compositions of Monk, Mingus, Bill Evans; and also her own compositions. She has performed in many important Jazz festivals of which: Bordighera (2001), Sori (2001), Turin (2002), Chieti (2002), Ottobre Cuneo (2002), Como (2003), Jesolo (2003), Trieste (2003), Sanremo (2004), Southport (2004), Boves (2005), Campione (2005), Monte Carlo (2005), Trani (2005), Viaggiano (2005), Alassio (2006/08), Bari (2006), Siena (2006/07), Sant Elpidio (2007), Acqui Terme (2008), Gubbio (2009), Offagna, (2009), Ancona (2009),Ferrara(2009),Genova(2009),Savigliano (2009), Ventimiglia (2009) Clusone (2010), Zazzarazzaz Sanremo (2010), Spotorno (2012), Sanremo (2015) Bari (2018) ..... In 2001 she was invited to sing as guest, while visiting as a tourist the Cotton Club in Harlem N.Y.C., accompanied by the “Cotton Club All Stars” !!
She has also sang at: Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, on Rai Uno National Television, at the Cinecittà Film studios in Rome, in the theatrical show “Romeo and Juliet in Jazz” alongside actor Michele Placido, at Teatro Smeraldo in Milano, at the Teatro Piccolo Regio in Turin at the Teatro Priamar in Savona, on the Italian Rai Radio, and on BBC Radio. She is regular vocalist to date of the Jazz Studio Orchestra in Bari, Puglia in Italy. She has collaborated with some of Italy’s finest jazz musicians, of whom: Stefano Bagnoli, Stefano Bollani, Robert Bonisolo, Paolo Borsarelli, Giampaolo Casati, Freddy Colt, Andrea Dulbecco, Paolo Fresu, Sandro Gibellini, Dodo Goya, Scott Hamilton, Paolo Lepore, Emanuele Maniscalco, Massimo Manzi, Gabriele Mirabassi, Mauro Negri, Walter Paoli, Andrea Pozza, Roberto Rossi, Pietro Tonolo, Rocco Ventrella, Flavio Boltro, Riccardo Zegna, Aldo Zunino, plus the late great Charlie Mariano. In 2007 feeling the need to branch out artistically she wrote, directed and performed in her own theatrical production of; “Marilyn Monroe in Jazz” in which, with her band, she received high critical and public acclaim.
January 2009, saw the release of the long awaited debut
album of Joanna entitled; “Dedicated to.....Just Me!”
released under the English label “Sam Productions”
Produced, arranged and also mixed by
Joanna, with the presence of some of the finest talent in
jazz accompanying her of whom; Charlie Mariano, Paolo
Fresu, and Stefano Bollani, the
c.d. boasts some of the most
beautiful standards ever written by
Monk, Porter, Ellington and Co. plus a taste of her own material.
The albums reviews are glowing and heralded Joanna as a new
talent in vocal jazz.
In 2010 she held two Masterclasses on Vocal Jazz at the Cattolica
University in Milan and has collaborated on, and edited, two
books about to be published in Italy written by the Jazz critic
Guido Michelone, entitled “Jazz Is A Women” and “Speak Jazzmen.”
2011 at the Teatro Alfieri Theatre in Turin, finally saw the debut of “My Judy”: a minimalist tribute and simple story of one girls childhood infatuation with an old Hollywood Movie Star and how that infatuation, bordering on obsession, but none-the-less; faithful idolatry, follows and remains with her throughout her whole life; influencing and affecting almost everything she does. The show gives sensitive and interesting insight, through narration, into the late stars rise to fame, fall from fame; and eventual rise to legendary immortal status and gives Joanna, imitating herself as an adolescent ardent Garland fan, the opportunity; to finally sing all of those glorious tunes rendered immortal by Judy: starting from her debut in 1929 right through to her closure in 1969.
In that same year of 2011 Joanna put her career as a singer completely to one side to
dedicate herself full time to her beloved cat Sammy White who was,
in 2007, diagnosed
with chronic renal insufficiency. Her eventual vast
experience in dealing with CRD and her 9 year
adventure with Sammy sadly ended on February 29th
She became vegetarian at 18 years of age, and vegan at 44 years of age, and is an active animal rights campaigner.
She has lived since 1989 in Italy and in 2016 returned back home to the U.K. where she currently resides.