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Joanne Brackeen
Joanne Brackeen  Biography
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After more than 40 years on the scene, eminent composer/pianist Joanne Brackeen is recognized as one of the most adventurous and innovative musicians in Jazz. A consummate artist with a totally individualistic musical approach, Ms. Brackeen transcended the notorious gender barriers that exist in Jazz, helping pave the way for countless female artists.

Originally from Ventura, California, she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 16. During the 1950s she worked with top saxmen Dexter Gordon and Teddy Edwards, and soon after with Charles Lloyd. Her first real exposure came in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s from her work with such noted Jazz masters as Sonny Stitt, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Stan Getz, Dave Liebman and Art Blakey, who referred to her as his "adopted daughter."

But it wasn’t until 1979 when she recorded a trio album with Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette that she began receiving serious critical recognition.

A winner in the 'DownBeat' Critics Poll for Piano in 1979 and 1982, Ms. Brackeen is also considered one of the best and most unique Jazz composers.

Both Ornette Coleman and Oscar Peterson name her as their favorite composer. A multiple year grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ms. Brackeen’s commissions for works with big bands include Duke University, the New England Conservatory, Rutgers University, Dickenson College, the Tri-City Jazz Festival in Cleveland and SUNY-Plattsburg.

Highlights of some of her recent activities include 100 Gold Fingers Tour of Japan (with such masters as Hank Jones and Kenny Barron), a solo concert at the Kennedy Center, San Jose Jazz Festival, a Switzerland/Germany tour with Pharoah Sanders, a Smithsonian concert, Midwest tour and European tour with her own quartet and a compositional residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Ms. Brackeen has recorded extensively for a variety of American and European labels, including Concord Jazz, Konnex, Tappan-Zee/Columbia, Pausa, Choice, Timeless, Black Lion/Freedom, Turnipseed and Evidence. Ms. Brackeen is also a member of the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the New School University in New York.

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