Joanna Chapman Smith
“Independent music award winner – Best Song of 2009”
Joanna is one of the most talented musicians we’ve heard for a long, long time and we’re not the only ones who think so – last year she beat off competition from some of the industry’s big names to win the coveted Independent Music Award for best song of 2009. Joanna’s music is simply so refreshing and quite different from almost anything you’re likely to hear at the moment. There are echoes of jazz and eastern European gypsy music, sometimes frivolous and playful but sometimes disciplined, soulful and melodically pure. She weaves a magical, vibrant and utterly irresistible spell for her listeners that comes partly through her diverse ethic background (Brazilian stepfather, parents from New Zealand and Italy) and partly through her eclectic interests in world music, cabaret, circus and global travelling. This is an unusual and remarkable young woman. who has something say.
“Slinky voiced with a hint of East European klezmer music” Q ****
“Her voice exudes a warmth, charm and occasional vulnerability that easily brings you under her spell .’Contraries’ is an endearing and classy album” Bluesbunny ***** review of Contraries
“A musical soundscape that is a rich, lush journey from Canada to Europe, and makes you want to hitch up your skirt and break out in high-stepping dance with the gypsies. She embraces a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural background of stylings and presents it in such a delicious way that I just can’t get enough.” Tim Stough
“This is a masterful and dark slice of pop that is engaging both lyrically and musically. Wonderful stuff. Contraries is an accomplished piece of work that Chapman-Smith should be justifiably proud of.” The Music Critic
“Alternating between acoustic guitar, keyboards, and clarinet, Chapman-Smith rises above the herd of folkie singer-songwriters, her musical self-portrait painted with an unusually large palette of moods and colours. She has a supple and finely-nuanced voice and writes with the ear of a poet.” Tony Montague, The Georgia Straight
“This creative and intelligent lyricist with the lilting virtuoso voice expresses insight, intelligence and adventurousness through her music. She has an inner beauty and radiance that resonates not just in her voice but also from her presence.” Rod Drown, Grab News
“The music itself reminds me of a Jewish or Greek wedding. Parts also sound a bit like a tango and Astor Piazzolla. I haven’t really met anyone that doesn’t like it.” Nicole Kornelson, The Peak
“She mixes elements of reggae, klezmer, jazz and clever songwriting into a Vaudevillian dream sequence – there’s something for everyone.” Deiter Freisen, Deel Street
Joanna Chapman-Smith is a powerful young woman who has been making waves on the folk scene since 2002. Alone on stage, sitting atop a percussion rig made out of a suitcase and outnumbered by instruments, she charms unassuming crowds into singing along and letting themselves be carried away into her world that questions right and wrong, mind and body, permanence and impermanence.
At 25 years old she has already been many times across her homeland of Canada, over to the US, Europe and New Zealand as well. Joanna has released two solo records to date – the most recent of which, “Contraries”, was awarded an International Music Award in the “Best Acoustic Song” category for the extraordinary ‘Melodies’.
Joanna also holds a BFA in music composition, working frequently with contemporary choreographers, touring theatrical productions and live circus performances. Joanna has also performed and recorded with such acclaimed artists as CR Avery, Sarah MacDougall, Ken Whiteley and Jonas Shandel.