Joanee has with immense appreciation for an eclectic range of sounds and experiences, which is mostly due to the size of her family (seven) and the fact that each of them developed a distinct musical identity, though, in part, it is due to the fact that she is a singer, performer and lover of everything from pop to the avant-garde. She’s seen over 300 different performers work their talents live in some of the great venues of this country, including Austin City Limits, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, and Detroit’s Palace of Auburn Hills. Joanee is a little obsessed with music. All forms. All genres.
Born in the year of Thriller, 1983, how could she not become a lover of music?
As a child…
Joanee grew up in a musical home. Her bedtime song list glided through oldies, silly songs, classic rock, old standards, musicals and billboard hits. “Surrey With The Fringe On Top” (from Oklahoma), “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (as performed by Harry Connick, Jr. on the When Harry Met Sally soundtrack) and “I Will” (The Beatles, from the White Album were among her favorite lullabies, all performed by dad (with the occasional Joan harmony). A “Silver Bells” duet (a la Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney) was performed with her father during the month of Christmas celebrations every night at bedtime. Musicals, classic rock, and oldies formed most of her childhood memories, but by high school her family had expanded their palate to include new bands and genres, and began voraciously attending concerts throughout the metro-Detroit area
As a performer, she’s skipped in and out of genres for the past twenty years, which makes for quite a bizarre timeline. Here are the more interesting points:
–When she was little, her and her sister Lindsay used to make music videos in the backyard, usually to the songs from their favorite cassette tape Heart In Motion by Amy Grant. None of these were ever recorded, only performed live for each other and their parents, but trust us, they were incredible.
–Unfortunately one performance was recorded. A “news show” her siblings and her prepared. She performed “Kids” from Bye Bye, Birdie which is a ridiculous song for a kid to sing.
–When she was 9, she and her father choreographed a solo routine for her summer camp’s talent show to the show “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters from the Stand By Me soundtrack (another favorite tape in those early years).
–At the age of 12 she won a contest at her middle school with a performance of Walt Disney’s Beauty and The Beast theme. She was the only one to compete. She rehearsed for months. A win is still a win.
As a teenager…
–At age 15, she was a member of a 12-person choir chosen to perform on stage with Shania Twain during her Come On Over tour in front of 23,000 people at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
–Her sophomore year of high school ended with a great idea—the Song Of The Day! Since she had diligently surrounded herself with music-loving friends and came from a music-obsessed family, it was rather easy to find people eager to read the lyrics of songs Joanee picked out on a nearly-daily basis. Her fan list swelled to around fifty people by her senior year, and she filled two 6″ binders with the lyrics she printed out in the school’s computer lab every morning (this was before school’s were smart/desperate enough to charge kids for printing).
–Also, by her senior year of high school, she had placed in local competitions with songs in four languages (Italian, German, French and English). Her mother always cried at these competitions.
–In her final high school musical production, Kiss Me Kate, her director wrote a lead role into the show for her. After auditioning with an Ella Fitzgerald interpretation of “Too Darn Hot,” which was supposed to be sung by a tenor male in the show, the director “moved some things around”. A small amount of dialogue, six costume changes, and, most notably, the lead role in the opening songs of both Act ! (“Another Openin’, Another Show”) and Act II (“Too Darn Hot”) became the role of Hattie, Kate’s less-than-amused-with-her antics assistant.
As a young adult…
–While in college in Buffalo, NY she was a member of an incredible gospel choir, and had the opportunity to perform works from the oeuvres of the Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin and many others. She also performed as Eleanor Roosevelt and Tina Marie (a.k.a. any time there was a white female role) in the college’s Afro-American Society’s annual benefit production.
–In 2005, she was cast in a college production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” and was required to sing no less than two operatic numbers in the show. She’s never been trained in this style of singing, and it began as a joke during warm-ups, but it eventually developed into a character for the show.
–In 2006, she performed Handel’s Messiah as a Soprano member of the historic Fort Street Presbyterian Choir in Detroit.
–On a trip to NYC for a friend’s bachelorette party in November 2007, she discovered her true karaoke calling was in performing Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart”. She can’t hit any of the low notes, so it’s ridiculous and hilarious. You should see it. She’s also done a screamo version of Billy Joel’s “Big Stuff”, though that shant be repeated.
–Also in 2007, Joanee buys the domain name daily-songs.com, with the hopes that she will put it to good and musically pure uses soon.
–In 2009, she began a massive quest: each month in the year of 2009 she would produce a playlist of all the new music she was exposed to that month. It started out as sort of a record-keeping venture, as she wanted to push herself towards actively discovering new music. Only one person other than Joan ever got to hear these mixes: her beloved music partner, Mikey. Every month, she would write explanations in the liner notes and send along a package to Buffalo, and he returned the favor with some incredible mixes and CDs of his own exquisite taste. By the time summer 2009 hit, Joanee realized that she might as well spread the love and start that blog she’s always felt was inside of her. The end.