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Joanna Wallfisch

Described by Downbeat Magazine as "an exquisite singer-songwriter", Joanna's music conveys a beauty of a many-coloured sort that speaks to straight to the human condition. Her songs reveal personal truths about love, loss, adventure, home and hope. World Music Report described it as "quintessential heart-music by a vocalist who seems to have connected with the deepest recesses of her being emerging into brightness again with songs of haunting beauty." ​

Joanna is a master in the art of live vocal looping and as a multi-instrumentalist plays baritone ukulele, piano, flute, Indian shruti box, kalimba and melodica. Her music defies genre classification as she effortlessly imbues her songs with nuances of jazz, classical, art-song, and folk, carrying her "clear-eyed poetry" (Boston Globe) and "striking vocals" (Hothouse). Her songwriting extends beyond just lyrics and melody - Joanna also arranges for ensembles including string quartets, winds, a cappella voices and more. ​​

Joanna's career has taken her around the globe. She first studied to be a painter at Central Saint Martins, London. This led her to Paris, where she sang on the bridges of the Seine with the "Rene Miller Wedding Band". Following this formative time she did a masters in jazz at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 2012 she moved to New York City where she forged an indelible musical path, appearing and collaborating with musicians including Dan Tepfer, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Werner, Sam Newsome, Lee Konitz, to name a few. She released her debut album, Wild Swan in 2011, featuring Joe Martin, Sam Newsome, Rob Garcia and Art Hirahara. In 2015 she signed with Sunnyside Records who released The Origin of Adjustable Things: an intimate duo project with pianist Dan Tepfer. As a follow up to this success she recorded Gardens In My Mind, her third album of self-penned songs and arrangements, featuring the award winning string ensemble The Sacconi Quartet, and Dan Tepfer on piano. In 2018 she self-released her fourth record Blood and Bone, which London Jazz said, "overflowed with creativity and musical resources." ​

2019 marks the release of her fifth record entitled Far Away From Any Place Called Home, as well as the publication of her debut memoir on UWA Press; "The Great Song Cycle - Portland To LA on Two Wheels and a Song". ​

Joanna’s unique musical background shines through in her own compositional style, evoking her classical routes with her love of jazz, art-song, folk and pop, pushing boundaries of genre and stylistic expectations. Her musical heritage is something to behold. Raised by classical musician parents, Australian violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch and London born cellist Raphael Wallfisch, her grandmother Anita Lasker Wallfisch, now 94, survived Auschwitz because she played the cello in the camp’s women's orchestra. Post liberation she became a founding member of the English Chamber Orchestra. Brother Simon is a renowned cellist and opera singer, and eldest brother Benjamin is an Oscar and Grammy nominated film composer. ​

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Album Review
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"[Joanna's] crystalline voice brings to mind early recordings by that legendary songstress [Joni Mitchell] as well as the less heralded work of British jazz singer Norma Winstone." — The Wall Street Journal ​ "The album is at once boldly individual and sublimely subtle...★★★★" — Jazzwise Magazine ​ "When Joanna Wallfisch is one stage one can do nothing but pay attention..." — Downbeat Magazine ​ "The London-born singer-songwriter takes flight on the opening track “When We Travel,” her voice gliding and never forced along its journey as she reflects on a 1,154-mile bicycle trip to Los Angeles from Portland, Oregon. Listeners are given a glimpse of the exquisite vocal control and range Wallfisch has at her disposal." — Associated Press

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Primary Instrument



Los Angeles

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced


Master of Music in Voice and Jazz Performance, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. 2010- 2012 Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in Fine Art: Central Saint Martins London. 2006-2009 Diploma in Fine Arts and Illustration, École Superior des Beaux Arts, Paris. 2008 Diploma Certificate in Fine Arts: Chelsea College, University of The Arts, London 2005-2006: RESIDENCIES Banff Centre Songwriters In Residence, Banff Centre of the Arts, Banff, Canada, 2018 Banff Centre Winter Musicians In Residence, Banff Centre of the Arts, Banff, Canada, 2017 Summer Labs Artist in Residence, National Sawdust, New York City, NY. 2017 ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop, Columbia University, NY, NY, 2016 Banff Centre Fall Musicians In Residence, Banff Centre of the Arts, Banff, Canada, 2015 TEACHERS (voice, musicality, jazz, composition, sight singing) Fred Hersch, Billy Childs, Kate McGarry, Jo Lawry, Pete Churchill, Lee Gibson, Kate Baker, Tina May, Gerald White, Lesley Leighton. WORK AS MUSIC EDUCATOR / SONGWRITING AND VOCAL WORKSHOP LEADER Song Writing Faculty at Los Angeles College Of Music, Los Angeles, CA. 2018 - present Early Childhood Music Educator, Family Sing with Urban Voices Project, Los Angeles. 2018-present: bringing music to the mothers and children living with homelessness on Skid Row, DTLA. Early Childhood Music Educator, Bloom School of Music, Los Angeles, 2017-present Early Childhood Music Educator, Jules4Music, Los Angeles, 2017-present Early Childhood Music Educator, Timbalooloo, New York, 2013-2017 Voice Teacher, South Pasadena Music Conservatory, 2018 Private Voice Teacher, home studio, Los Angeles. Private Ukulele Teacher, home studio, Los Angeles. Private Songwriting Instructor, home studio, Los Angeles. Teaching Artist for Songwriting, Denver School of the Arts, CO, 2018 Teaching Artist for Voice and Songwriting, Mt Hood Community College, OR. 2017 Teaching Artist for Songwriting, Scenic View High School, Medford, Oregon. 2017 Children’s Choir Director and Teaching Artist, Songbound’s Children’s Choir, Mumbai, India 2016 Early Childhood Music Educator, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, FUNIKIJAM. 2012 Teaching Artist Early Childhood Music, WEBOP, Jazz at Lincoln Centre, New York. 2012 Teaching Artist, Spitalfields Music and the English Consort, London. 2011

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Vince Mendoza
composer / conductor
Punch Brothers
band / ensemble / orchestra



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Far Away From Any...

Self Produced


Blood & Bone

Self Produced


Gardens In My Mind

Sunnyside Records


The Origin of...

Sunnyside Records


Wild Swan

Self Produced



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