“An aggressively edgy and highly innovative blues rock guitarist with a tight groove that encompasses jazz and funk, Joanna’s hailed by many as one of the most powerful and influential female guitarists on the planet.”
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And so, Joanna Connor’s musical odyssey began. The soundtrack of her childhood in her adopted hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts was diverse and bounteous. The Blues was part of the lexicon. Joanna’s favorite record as a child was Taj Mahal’s “Take A Giant Step/ The Old Folks At Home”.
Seeing Buddy Guy perform at a local university at the age of 10 left a paramount impression. Playing saxophone, guitar and singing through her school years were her passions, and eventually led to her performing professionally at age 17.
But her hunger to become a guitarist first and foremost and her desire to immerse herself in the Blues, propelled her to move to Chicago in 1984.
“It was my university. I went out every night of the week. Within a month I had my first gig with the legendary Johnny Littlejohn. A few weeks later I became a part of Dion Payton and the 43rd St Bluesband. We were the house band at the Checkerboard Lounge, on the south side of Chicago, then owned by Buddy Guy. That’s when my schooling kicked into overdrive. I played with Buddy, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Sammy Lawhorn, Pinetop Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Magic Slim, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Koko Taylor, just to name a few. I was blessed.”
Joanna went on to form her own band in 1988 with weekly appearances at the Kingston Mines in Chicago. Her formidable guitar playing, and distinctive soul-churning vocal ability caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, who released her debut album “Believe It” in 1990.
National and International accolades in the press and radio media resulted into a decade of world tours, a dozen recordings on Ruf Records, MC Records and others, a documentary on Germany’s WDR Television, and a multitude of TV appearances and radio features.