"It’s hard to catch her voice in words. It’s silky and warm, with a touch of gospel... She can whisper a secret and sing you the blues, all in the same tune." - Charlene Diehl, Associate Director at DIG Magazine / Director at Winnipeg International Writers Festival
Naturally gifted and highly trained, Joanna Majoko has been captivating audiences with her voice since she was 14. Born to German & Zimbabwean parents, Joanna grew up in a culturally diverse home - a home that moved from Germany to Zimbabwe, South Africa, and finally to Canada in 2001.
Growing up, she was exposed to a rich practice of music and dance, participating in everything from choirs, musicals, drum ensembles, to traditional Zimbabwean dance groups. At this point, she began to receive notice for her vocal abilities. After relocating to Central Canada, Joanna continued to involve herself in the Arts. A growing love of jazz brought her to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Jazz Studies - Honours degree from the University of Manitoba in the Spring of2014.
Although her greatest affinity is jazz, Joanna is versatile within many musical genres. She has worked with numerous accomplished Canadian and American recording artists including Otis Brown III, Ulysess Owens Jr., Michael Olatuja, Ron Paley, Ismaila Alfa, The Lytics, Curtis Nowosad, Steve Kirby & The Oceanic Jazz Orchestra, Quincy Davis, and Derrick Gardner and many more.
In addition to her talents as a vocalist, Joanna is also a passionate composer and arranger. She achieves a unified and unmistakable sound characteristic of smooth syncopations, airy melodies, colourful rhythms and a sophisticated harmonic palette. In August of 2015, Joanna participated in a 3-week artist residency as part of the “Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music” on full scholarship, with support from the Manitoba Arts Council. Her time in Banff, Alberta allowed her to work closely with jazz luminaries such as Vijay Iyer, Billy Hart, Somi, Becca Stevens and Mark Turner, exploring and expanding the influences, textures and sounds she attempts to present in her sound.
Joanna now calls Toronto home and continues to build a name for herself as a solo voice, performing both locally and internationally. Most recently, Joanna’s vocal talents awarded her the opportunity to travel to New York City to take part in the 2017 New York Winter Jazz Festival, alongside critically acclaimed jazz artist/drummer, Ulysses Owens Jr. and his Songs of Freedom project. In the Fall of 2015, she was fortunate enough to travel abroad to France, touring and performing with Blue Note recording artist and New York-based drummer, Otis Brown III.
It is the union of her cultural distinction, pure tone, sweet lyricism and cunning compositional abilities that excite her audiences and help define her sound.
Photo no.1 & 3 credit: Ian Mccausland
Photo no.2 credit: Travis Ross