Thursday, April 03, 2014

Artist Spotlight - Violinist JoAnna Johnson

Beginning today and every Thursday, I will be profiling new and upcoming artists as well as artists that I think should be given more recognition in the jazz arena.

I'm kicking off this new feature with JoAnna Johnson who is a really talented violinist out of Michigan who is currently based in Georgia.

I had heard of JoAnna before but never her music until one of my radio announcers on Jazz Moods Radio DJ Big Kahuna started playing her music in his song set. Can I tell you how blown away I was with her track Deep Soul?

JoAnna is known as the Soul Stringer and rightly so; she plays with great passion and soul, gently striking each chord of her violin with sweet caress and with ease.

Growing up in Detroit with her parents Joe and Marian, JoAnna was the only daughter of seven children who actually began her musical career at a Detroit public school. It was there that she experimented with various instruments such as the recorder before she started playing the violin. The recorder was the perfect preamble to the violin as it helped JoAnna to develop her basic musical rhythms and techniques.

And so at the age of eight, JoAnna had begun her journey into the violin and quickly rose to star quality after much practice while at home. JoAnna did not need to take extra violin lessons as she honed her technique and skill at the Detroit Community Music School.

She used her ability to play by ear to help write and compose the 80's hit Sweet November for both the band and orchestra to perform at her 8th grade graduation. During this time she also competed in many MSBOA (Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association) competitions where she received numerous 1st place ribbons. She auditioned for the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra in 1984 where she continued to play through both Junior High and all of High School. Upon graduation she received a number of school offers including a full scholarship to Jackson State University. Although she did not attend this university, JoAnna continued to submerge herself into music and became a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Orchestra.

Among her musical influences, JoAnna lists artists such as violinists Noel Pointer, Jon Luc Ponty, Karen Briggs, Regina Carter and Jerald Daemyon.

Even though JoAnna has encountered several health struggles, she continues to soothe her soul and that of the audience with her beautiful music. She is a firm believer that music heals people and can touch the very depths of one’s soul.

JoAnna brings a sensuous, sultry, elegant, sassy yet classy vibe to the art of strings. Her very presence and her sincerity is felt long before you see her or even hear her first note.

JoAnna is currently in the studio working on a new compilation. One of the releases from the CD is called "Midnight Stroll" which can be heard on her Reverbnation Page.

Here are ways you can hear JoAnna's links and learn more about her:    

If you are an upcoming jazz music or singer, feel free to send me a copy of your bio and music so that I can feature it in this spot! Email me at Thanks


JoMocha said...

This is a wonderful introduction to your audience!! I am honored to be presented in such a beautiful light! I look forward to sharing many moments of my musical journey with you! Thank YOU!!!
The Soul Stringer