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Born and raised in Venice, California, Joanna Katzen has been performing since fifth grade. She was consistently chosen to perform in school events, and taught herself to play the guitar at age twelve. She was granted a full scholarship to study classical ballet at the age of eleven. Joanna stated that she loved dancing because it was, “…as close as I could possibly get to being music.”
Joanna initially pursued a degree in Classical Ballet with a Child Psychology minor while teaching and performing professionally with The Civic Ballet of Southern California. She studied music for three years at the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Israel where she maintained an exemplary GPA and earned the support and respect of her teachers. She also performed with the highly respected Rimon ensemble, Gospel Jazz under the direction of Ofer Portugali. She is currently pursuing a degree in Performance and Songwriting at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Joanna has performed throughout Israel as an integral part of the performing-songwriter duo, “Joanna and Ray Scudero,” and as the founding member of Et Al. She enjoyed performing with these groups, as a solo act, and as a guest artist over a period of years. Her performances were held at various venues, including all of Israel’s folk clubs and the largest folk-music festival in Israel, the Jacob’s Ladder Festival: www.jlfestival.com/index.asp
Joanna is a versatile performing songwriter who, when not engulfed in studies, travels widely to perform, to give inspirational talks, and to conduct workshops. Having returned to the United States after twenty-three years in Israel, she is a well-known performer in the English-speaking Folk Community there. Though her background is mainly in folk music, she is currently involved in exploring and successfully expanding her musical horizons.
Accomplishments and Scholarships:
- Honor role, Santa Ana City College
- Dean’s list, Santa Ana City College
- Performing Songwriter, Joanna and Ray Scudero
- Founder, director, manager and performing member, “Et Al.”
- Founder and manager, “Israel Wholistic Forum.”
- Two-time Achievement Scholarship recipient, Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music
- Contributing writer, “The Voice” www.desaction.org/newsletter.htm
- Atypicals’ Alliance
- Berklee Cares
- Songwriter’s Club
Experience & Education
Music teacher. for City Music, Gardner MA and Leominster MANovember 2014 to Present (over 5 years)
I teach voice, guitar and beginning piano to all ages.
Teacher for Berklee City MusicSeptember 2012 to Present (over 7 years)
Theory I and II.
Director, composer, performing member for Et AlMay 2007 to July 2010 (over 3 years)
A five-member group dedicated to performing folk, gospel, popular folk, A Capella and original pieces in close, three-to-five part harmony. Toured Israel and often performed with guest artists.
Member (alto, tenor) for Gospel Jazz EnsembleSeptember 2008 to July 2009 (10 months)
Performed with the Rimon ensemble, Gospel Jazz under the direction of Ofer Portugali.
Songwriter and performer for Joanna and Ray Scudero (Performing songwriter duo)January 2000 to 2005 (over 5 years)
Popular performing songwriter duo. Toured Israel performing originals written by Ray Scudero and/or myself.
in Performance and Songwriting (dual major) at Berklee College of Music2010 to 2014 (4 years)
Bachelor of Music in Graduated! Yaay! at Berklee College of Music2010 to 2012 (2 years)
in Performance at Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music2006 to 2009 (3 years)