Virtuoso jazz pianist born in Ventura Ca in 1938, her original last name was Grogan, before she married saxophonist Charles Brakeen in the 1960's and had 4 children before they divorced. She has some 25 albums as a lead musician and is a professor at the Berklee College of Music.
Joanne attended the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, but devoted herself to jazz by imitating Frankie Carle and was influenced by Charlie Parker and bebop. By the late 50's at the age of only 20, Joanne was sitting in on jam sessions in Los Angeles, playing with heavyweights like Dexter Gordon and Harold Land. Othr musicians she worked with in this early period included Charles Lloyd, Bobby Hutcherson, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins.
She played with Joe Henderson (1972-75) and Stan Getz (1975-1977) before leading her own trio and quartet. Her trios toured the world and featured such noted players as Eddie Gomez, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette, Cecil McBee, and Billy Hart.
She served on the grant panel for the National Endowment for the Arts, toured the Middle East with the US State Department as sponsor, and had solo performances at Carnegie Hall.