Bio- Herstory

“Stunning vocals…well crafted songs, and a theatrical, sensual presentation” defines the amazing Ms. Finch. 

A vocal poet whose songs have a lasting effect on her listeners, Vancouver Island's Joanna Finch engages her audience with scintillating sounds and great song writing. Her curious exploration in a multitude of instruments plus her mastery of vocal sounds and styles take you on an unforgettable journey into her musical world. Joanna's debut album, In the Arms of Morpheus, garnered two nominations at Vancouver Island Music Awards, and reached 7th place in the charts in Alberta’s CKUA radio. Joanna creates in many genres: Folk- Jazz, Latin, Roots/Reggae, Blues, Musical/Cabaret and spontaneous, improvised compositions. Love, nature, justice and whimsy are themes that inspire Joanna's music. 
"Love of life is life of love", Joanna wrote in a song when she was seventeen and living in the wilds of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. There in the land where her Grandmother's friend Emily Carr had initiated a link between her paintbrush and Haida spirit culture, Joanna witnessed the transformative power of Nature's voice first hand. The sacred music of her classical voice training, and influences of traditional folk and early jazz melded with rain and river, wren and raven and she melted into a sensory sponge, writing her first folk-jazz tunes. On a fishing boat in Naden Harbour the DREAM was hatched to devote her life to music and to follow wherever it led. Travels to Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Cuba, North and South America and China are infused into her songs and sounds. On a road in Clayoquot Sound at dawn, before she was arrested for blocking logging trucks from transporting old growth trees, she had an epiphany: " If my gift is to sing then let it inspire and unite people to love more, live simply, and take care of the Earth.  "Sister, brother we all are one/ all things joined underneath the sun/ animals and land and sea/ connected by the air we breathe/ in a circle under the sun/Mother Earth and we are one."

" I've always been called weird. I used to think this was a bad thing- now I'm proud to be weird. I'm an eclectic eccentric eco warrior lover. I'm a little nuts! Beautiful and nutty, I've been called... I want to do it all, be it all, feel it all- make love to it all-which is, no doubt, why my MUSE gives me songs from all genres and eras to animate my ghosts. I just listen with my heart, mind and sex and relay the stories I hear. My songs are my best friends. Having three- or four- distinct sounds makes me a little unusual, a little hard to "brand" . But it's all me. I'm totally alive when I'm expressing my music in whatever form it takes- especially free jazz/improvisation. I'd rather sing than talk, rather dance than walk. I connect to water, plants and small animals more comfortably than to people, though it is the human condition that most inspires my expression. I AM a tree. I AM the water. I AM spirit in human form. Everyone is, really. And in being human I suffer. We all do. From suffering comes a tender heart that wants to love everyone and everything. And so I do. I'm a survivor. It's personal. Those stories are best told in song."

Fans compare Joanna's sultry, smooth vocal stylings to Sade, Joni Mitchell,  Diana Krall, Yma Sumak, Marlene Dietrich and Ella Fitzgerald. A wizard in vocal mimicry, her ‘vocal cornet’ always surprises her audience with its likeness to the real thing and a five octave range gives her lots of freedom to do her “Satchmo” or Theremin riffs. In her career as a recording artist Joanna has produced four albums in folk, jazz, blues, latin and experimental free jazz.

 A freelance band leader, Joanna pulls musicians together for her projects, recording and performing with notable musicians: Miles Black, Jesse Zubot, Steve Dawson, Jorge Triana, Ken Lister, Pat Coleman and  Pauline Le Bel. Projects are diverse as her musical palate. Within a season Joanna has composed and recorded a Soundscape project of the Courtenay estuary for documentary film students; played folk music at the farmers market with her band of 20 years, Norbury & Finch;  travelled to the Rix Biological station in Bamfield for an Oyster convention with jazz guitarist Jim Lambert, and presented her chant-mantra the Salmon Song to groups of school children. In addition to traditional vocal forms Joanna has played art openings, and afternoon salons with left field experimental improvisors Birch-Finch. In twenty five years of professional performances, Joanna has shared the stage with many jazz and pop artists including, Jane Siberry, Rita MacNeil, Anela Kahiamoe, Todd Butler, and regular musical partners Judy Norbury, Danny Zanbilowicz, Sean Mooney and Brodie Dawson. When she's not performing her original music, Joanna inspires others to explore their voice in her VocalEase Transformative Voice and Movement workshops. 

During the past five years alone, Joanna’s eclectic musicality has taken her to stages in Ecuador with Jorge Triana’s Cuban Jazz band, to Antigua with Island Reggae band, a Victoria Showcase with Brodie Dawson, the Comox Valley at the Vancouver Island MusicFest, to the Vancouver Jazz Festival and many house concerts, workshops and cafes throughout BC.  In 2015 Joanna produced two music videos as the foundation for a one woman multi-media show, Cochlea The Musical. 

 Please take a moment to listen to Joanna's music and to sign up to her mailing list. For bookings please contact Joanna here:

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