All About Jazz

Home » Member Page

Joan Gannij

Joan is a writer, photographer, lyricist, and teacher.

About Me

I've been digging jazz since I was 14 years old and got my first FM radio. I was tuned into KBCA and KLJH in LA, never realizing that less than a decade later I would be a radio DJ on pop and jazz stations in LA and San Diego, as well as a correspondent for Downbeat. When I got my first stereo set with two small box speakers (the very basic G-E model), my Uncle Sel sent me a box of LPs culled from his impressive music collection. All of Monk's recordings on Riverside, a variety of Charlie Parker, Mingus, Eric Dolphy, and a selection of Django Reinhardt. After that, it was Straight Ahead, no detours, and I would never listen to the Beach Boys again. My mother sneaked me into the jazz clubs on the Sunset Strip: Mocambo and the Interlude were my favorites: after listening to June Christy, Chris Conner, Carmen, Julie, and Abbey, I was set on being a jazz singer. But my voice was meant for late night FM radio and not smoky jazz clubs. These days I write songs for jazz and pop singers. My first was the title track of Denise Jannah's Blue Note debut, The Madness of our Love, which won the equivalent of a Dutch Grammy in 2001, and they commissioned me to write the liner notes! The jazz clubs aren't smoky these days. I don't have to lie about my age to get in, and I still have an FM radio voice.