Joanne Brackeen is one of jazz's most prized possessions: a virtuoso pianist and master composer who epitomizes the history and evolution of jazz from traditional to free, and everything in between; all with a contemporary edge. Born in Southern California, she was drawn to the sound of the piano from the age of five, but did not begin formal studies until nine. She was given a conservatory education, but balked at the repertoire and regimentation, because what she was hearing in her head and on the radio was not taught.
She became one of the most lauded pianists of the day, working for several years with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, then with two major saxophonists: Joe Henderson for three years followed by two years with Stan Getz. Joanne has been at the forefront of new music, recording over 20 albums as a leader with some of the most respected musicians in jazz including Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart, and Eddie Gomez. Her playful and complex sense of time, rhythm and mood permeates her repertoire, which now numbers close to 300 original compositions, 100 of which have been recorded.