Brackeen, JoAnne (nee Grogan)

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Brackeen, JoAnne (nee Grogan)

Brackeen, JoAnne (nee Grogan), jazz pianist, composer; b. Ventura, Calif., July 26, 1938. She is mostly self-taught as a jazz musician. While a student at the Los Angeles Cons., she listened to her parents’ records of pianist Frankie Carle, then directly imitated his solos, and later solos of Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and John Coltrane. Brackeen played with Teddy Edwards, Harold Land, Dexter Gordon, and Charles Lloyd in Los Angeles during the late 1950s. She moved to N.Y. with then husband Charles Brackeen in the 1960s. She played with Art Blakey (1970–72) and toured with Stan Getz in the late 1970s; she also worked with Joe Henderson and Pharoah Sanders. Since then, Brackeen has led several trios, and done solo and combo dates. She usually plays her own compositions. Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Jack Dejohnette, Eddie Gomez, Cecil McBee, and Al Foster are among the musicians who have worked with her. She is an Associate Professor (part time) of piano at Berklee. In 1996, she gave 20 international concerts including the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall, and others. She has numerous commissions for compositions. She is also a member of the advisory board for Keyboard magazine.


Snooze (1975); Tring-A-Ling (1977); Mythical Magic (1978); Aft (1979); Ancient Dynasty (1980); Special Identity (1981); Havin’ Fun (1985); Fi-Fi Goes to Heaven (1986); Live at Maybeck Recital Hall (1989); Wish List (1991); Where Legends Dwell (1991); Breath of Brazil (1991); Take a Chance (1993); After Dark (1993); Turnaround (1995).

—Lewis Porter/Music Master Jazz and Blues Catalogue