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was born Joanne Grogan in Southern California in 1938, and began to play the
piano during her childhood. Her exposure to jazz began during this time with the
recordings of bandleader and pianist Frankie Carle, who she imitated as she
taught herself to play and improvise. As her talent was realized, she was
accepted to the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, but dropped out to pursue
jazz. By the late 50's at the age of only 20, Joanne had already played with
heavyweights Dexter Gordon, Harold Land and Charles Lloyd,
and her jazz career was launched. Moving to New York in the mid 60's, she began
to command the attention of the upper echelon of jazz players, and played with
Woody Shaw and Dave Liebman in 1969. She spent the next several
years with the ultimate working band, the Jazz Messengers, led by Art
Blakey. She became one of the most lauded pianists of the day, working with
Joe Henderson for three years and two with saxophonist Stan Getz.
By the late 70's, Joanne had established herself as a cutting edge pianist
through her performances around the world. She was leading her own groups,
usually a trio, which featured such noted players as Eddie Gomez, Jack
DeJohnette, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart, Sam Jones, and
others. Her solo performances also cemented her reputation as one of the most
innovative and dynamic of pianists.
In 1998, she joined the ranks of New York's Arkadia Jazz, and her debut
Elephant Magic" features some of the top players in the world, including
Grammy winner Nicholas Payton, Chris Potter, John Patitucci
and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez. Arkadia Jazz is proud to present Joanne
Brackeen and her music as we enter the next century and beyond.
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