Joan grew up in Lake County, IL in a musical family, and studied voice and instruments privately, in school and at church. She performs live as well as appearing in commercials, on television, in films, and on radio.
Joan has been nominated five times for Pop Entertainer of the Year by the Chicago Music Awards. (Other nominees have been R. Kelly, Kanye West, Mavis Staples, Wilco and Jennifer Hudson.) The Illinois Arts Council placed Joan on their Illinois ArtsTour Roster of artists. ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) gave her their fifth ASCAPLUS Writer's Award, where a panel of music experts recognize active writers in the early and midstages of their careers with cash and recognition. The YWCA of Lake County awarded Joan their Women of Achievement Award in the Arts category. The Robert M. MacNamara Foundation awarded her one of its residencies where she wrote new music. Her music is available on major digital distributors like iTunes and is available in over 100 countries.
Her first full length CD entitled joanland is a collection of 11 original songs performed by Joan and a variety of talented musicians and was included on the Grammy Awards Nominations Ballot in four different categories. Appearing are members of the Cryan' Shames and blues legend Corky Siegel, as well as Skip Griparis of the Major League movies. Joan was also the vocalist on the recording of Oh Lady Di for the late Princess of Wales benefiting her Foundation and charities. This recording also put Joan on the Grammy Awards Nominations Ballot in a number of categories.
Joan was the singer on America recorded after 9-11. It can currently be heard on the website for the Flight 93 Memorial in California, and has been chosen to be included in the Artist Registry for the National 9-11 Memorial in New York City. The song led to Joan being chosen by Washington for a nine-day USO tour to entertain the troops including New Year's Eve in Cuba and another appearance on the Grammy Awards Nominations Ballot. Other performance highlights include appearing as a headliner during
the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and working all around the globe in places like
the Caribbean and Las Vegas, including Caesar's Palace. She has
shared billing with entertainers like Buddy Rich, Koko Taylor, Lonnie
Brooks, the Chi-Lites, the Cryan Shames, David Sanborn, Brenda Russell, Shirley King, Taj Mahal, Johnny Frigo, Frank Mantooth, Rare Earth, James Moody and the Second
City Comedy Troupe. She has sung
at Holy Name Cathedral many times and performed a concert as a part of acclaimed cellist Yoyo Ma's yearlong Silk Road project in Chicago.
The National Park Service selected Joan as an Artist in Residence, landing her at the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Washington state. The parks inspired the song Nature Walk, which ended up in three categories on the Grammy Nominations Ballot. Collaborating with members of the Colville Indian Reservation was a highlight of that experience.
For several years, Joan was the lead singer of the Exceptions
with a bandmate formerly of New Colony Six and Aorta. Commercials
and television work include working with a variety of sports legends
like Mike Ditka, Dan Hampton, and Dr. Julius Irving. Film work
includes working with stars like Bill Murray, Robert DeNiro,
Andie MacDowell, Dolly Parton, James Woods among others. The film Last Day in Chicago,
in which she had a starring role, won its division of the
Chicago International Film Festival.
Chicago Tribune listed her as one of the best shows to listen to
when she hosted and produced The Midday Show at ABC
Radio affiliate WKRS, the first woman to do so, winning the Lake
County Womens Coalitions Woman in Communications Award
and Illinois Public Health Association Media Award. She hosted a show for WaukTown radio with shows there averaging over a million hits per month. She has done shows with James Brown, Steve Allen, Richard Marx, Alan Thicke, Bart
Starr, Jim Otto, Astronaut Jim Lovell, chef Jacques Pepin, Elektra Records
founder Jack Holzman, Jennifer O'Neill, Livingston Taylor, Alan Osmond,
Oak Ridge Boy Joe Bonsall, Statler Brothers' Don Reid, Dr. Elmo (Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer), HGTV's Room by Room hosts Matt and Shari, Dick Van Patten, original Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr, Janis Joplin and BOH guitarist Sam Andrew, and Hemingways travel companion, A.E. Hotchner, as well as covering a variety of local and national issues.
has been a spokesperson for Jessica McClintock, Liz Claiborne, Microsoft,
Anheuser Busch, and Toyota. Some of the honors she has received include
being named to Whos Who in Entertainment, Whos Who in
the Midwest, Whos Who in Music, Whos Who of American
Women, and the International Whos Who of Music in London. "Its Fun
To be Fit!", a television program she worked on at CBS TV Chicago,
won an Emmy for Best Childrens Program. At the same station,
she also worked on the "Daybreak" show and some of her
favorite guests included Jimmy Dean, Roger Miller, Jack Hanna,
Jack Hemingway, Jack Brickhouse, Sid Caesar, Virginia Graham, Janet Leigh, Gore Vidal, Patti David, Beverly Johnson, Valentino, the Joffrey Ballet, and the Alvin
Ailey Dance Troupe.
served on the Board of Governors in Chicago for the GRAMMYs for
many years, and was a part of the first female President/Vice
President team in Academy history. She chaired the Education Committee. Through them, she has chaired the Chicago
premieres of the Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett movie, "Music
of the Heart," and "Mr. Hollands Opus," with
Richard Dreyfuss. She is a member of the National Academy of Television
Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television
and Radio Artists) where she is a member of the Singers Committee. She
served for over ten years as Trustee for the Lake County
Discovery Museum Friends Board including multiple terms as President.
has studied singing and recorded with Robert Harris of Northwestern
University as well as studying both singing and conducting with
the legendary Margaret Hills of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. She
studied voice and acting with Tony Randall and operatic singer,
Sherrill Milnes. At Ravinia, she had a master class with Conductor
Christoph Eschenbach. She also had a vocal masterclass with Roger Love. Joan regularly sings in a variety of languages and has sung in German, French, Latin, Spanish, Polish, Italian, and Swahili. She is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago where she served as President of their their Alumni Assocation and on the school's Board of Trustees for about ten years. Joan is currently working on original recording
projects of her own as well as others.