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Jo D'Anna - Singer-Songwriter & Guitarist
Jo D’Anna is best known for her heartfelt, storytelling lyrics, expressive voice, mesmerizing melodies and classic fingerstyle folk guitar.
Currently residing in Marin County, California, Jo is a native to the San Francisco Bay Area. She was born and raised in Palo Alto, California where she came of age in the 60's. Her music is strongly influenced by the 60's folk-rock icons who inspired her at that time. Those influences naturally found their way through her own music when she began writing songs seriously and performing in the early 90's, after performing as vocalist and guitarist for the prior eight years with McTune, a former local South Bay acoustic folk trio which performed covers and originals (before becoming a folk trio, the original McTune was comprised of the folk/songwriting/vocal harmonies duo of Dean McComb and Jo D’Anna performing in Santa Barbara, California, and later in the SF South Bay area).
As a fundamental part of her musical background, Jo D’Anna has studied guitar with three South Bay masters (including the notorious Jerry Garcia, who inspired her own signature fingerstyle guitar style), has studied private voice and piano, and has a college music degree from UC Santa Barbara.
In Spring of 1995, Jo D’Anna released her first CD entitled Alouwenja, a thematic compilation of her earlier songs in which her lyrics are replete with symbols of nature as a theme for inspiration, healing and transformation. Soon after the release, the title track of Alouwenja was included in a compilation CD entitled OasisAcoustic Vol. III, presented by the well-respected Oasis CD Manufacturing Co., the duplicating company that manufactured Alouwenja.
In early 2004, another one of the songs on Alouwenja (“Warrior Queen”) was selected for inclusion in yet another compilation CD presented by “Artists for Change” (www.artistsforchange.bz) released in October 2004. The compilation CD is entitled The Goddess Within, whose purpose is to empower, inspire and encourage women who wish to move beyond the cycle of domestic violence. Proceeds from the sales of the CD, The Goddess Within, are donated to women’s shelters and organizations.
In March of 2007, Jo D’Anna released her second album, As She Is, a delightful collection of her original songs in the folk/pop genre which were inspired mostly during her participation in the San Francisco Song Group, a local informal songwriter’s exchange. In As She Is, Jo combined her songwriting style (primarily fingerstyle guitar and folk-based songs) with the more urbane style and seamless sound-blending talents of Ben Leinbach, an amazing percussionist and multi-instrumentalist, who was also her producer and recording engineer for As She Is (www.benleinbach.com). Also in 2007, the song “Living In Dreams” was selected for a second Oasis CD compilation, entitled “Oasis Adult Contemporary Volume VII #2" put out by the same CD duplicating company as her first album, Oasis CD.
Along with being an award-winning songwriter as a member in WestCoast Songwriter’s Association (WCS - formerly known as Northern California Songwriter’s Association, or NCSA) since 1990, Jo D’Anna has also been an ongoing member of an the San Francisco Song Group, an informal meeting ground where local songwriter members exchange and share new songs for inspiration and peer critique, as well as occasionally perform together as a group once or twice a year in a local venue.
Since 2002, Jo has performed at various venues either as a featured act, a solo two-hour set, or otherwise sharing a showcase gig with other songwriters. Such venues would include Simple Pleasures Café, Sacred Grounds Café, and the Bazaar Café, all in San Francisco, California. In early 2004 she performed in a Local Songwriters’ Showcase at the Park Branch of the San Francisco Public Library. She also performed at the annual Fairfax Festival Peri’s Park Stage (Marin County) in June of 2002, and performed several times in 2002 and 2003 as either a featured act or solo act at the BookBeat Bookstore and Café (Fairfax). In July of 2003 she performed a set on the Cabaret Stage at the San Francisco Free Folk Festival (www.sffolkfest.org) In July 2004, she performed a set at a benefit concert called “Artists Speaking Out!” for MoveOn.org, a grass roots democratic organization. On August 28, 2004 she hosted and performed in a showcase of three other San Francisco women songwriters at the Sacred Grounds Café in San Francisco. About a year ago, Jo also appeared in a live performance with three other local songwriters on San Francisco Liberation Radio 93.7 FM. She also had her CD, Alouwenja, on the playlist at KWMR (West Marin) Radio 90.5 FM and KSVY (Sonoma) Radio 91.3. In August 2004, she performed two separate songs to compete for Best Song of the Year” at the West Coast Songwriters’ Association(“WCS”) judged playoffs for the North Bay and South Bay regions (she has also won“Best Performance” categories twice this year in other WCSA open mic judged competitions). In 2007, Jo played in a local women songwriters-in-the-round at the Ordinary Miracles alternative health store (www.ordinarymiraclesonline.com) for one of their Songs of Sonoma concert series in Cotati, California, along with other local women songwriters. Jo has also headlined twice at the Red Victoria Bed & Breakfast’s Haight Street Review for the “Summer of Love” series in San Francisco, as a benefit for the new non-profit Peaceful World Travel (www.redvic.com). Also, this will be the second year that Jo performs at the San Francisco Free Folk Music Festival’s Songwriter Showcase event. She also performed at a local Songwriter Showcase in a house concert in Novato, California, sponsored by the North Bay’s favorite house concert promoter, Drew Pearce. (www.drewpearce.com). Check Jo’s calendar page for upcoming events in 2007 and beyond!
From 1993 to 2002, Jo D’Anna has played in such venues such as showcases at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California; a set at the Berkeley Free Folk Festival; the former Red Café in Berkeley; a Hootenanny showcase performance at the Café International in San Francisco (a monthly show sponsored by the San Francisco Folk Music Club); a featured act at The Starry Plough in Berkeley; a songwriter showcase for Local Gold, a monthly show at the Sweetwater Saloon in Mill Valley; a CD release performance at the San Geronimo Valley Cultural Center (West Marin); the BookBeat Café and Bookstore and the Café Amsterdam in Fairfax; a performance at an photographer’s gallery reception at the Marshall Arts Community Center (West Marin); a showcase at the Performance Art monthly show at the Fairfax Community Church; San Rafael Farmer’s Market and Fairfax Common Market; the former Artist’s Café in San Francisco, a showcase at the Hotel Utahin San Francisco; the former Mama Bears Bookstore in Oakland; a featured act at the Casanova Lounge in San Francisco, a showcase on the Late Night Acoustic Cantina at the High Sierra Music Festival; the Blue Rock Shoot in Saratoga (South Bay); San Gregorio Store (Coastside); the former St. Michael’s Art Caféin Palo Alto, Café Reyes (West Marin); City Lights Espresso in Cupertino and LaDiDa Café in Half Moon Bay. She has also had her CD on the playlist on KPFA 94.1 FM and KKUP 91.5 FM (as well as performing a live show on KKUP’s Friday Folkoff program and on KZSU - Stanford University Radio).