Joanie Pallatto

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About Joanie Pallatto

Xenia, OH, has produced two jazz musicians of some prominence, trombonist Vic Dickenson and jazz vocalist Joanie Pallatto. While the jazz bug was to come later, the foundation was laid by her musical family. Her father played violin, her mother guitar, and they continually sang together around the house. Around the age of four, she started violin lessons switching to clarinet because she was tired of holding up the violin. Pallatto was turned to singing when auditioning for the school choir, she discovered that not only did she enjoy singing, but she was good. It was at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where she got her first heavy dose of jazz by listening to Miles Davis and Chick Corea. In search for her own vocal style, Pallatto listened to Betty Carter, Annie Ross, Bob Dorough, Mark Murphy, and Cleo Laine. One of Pallatto's first professional gigs came during the 1970s when she toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Moving to Chicago in 1979, she has made that city her home base. With her husband, Bradley Parker-Sparrow, she was a co-founder of Southport Records, made her first album for them in 1986, and has cut four more albums for that label. Pallatto appreciates that her voice is as much of an instrument as any horn and "plays" it accordingly. Her ability to musically mesh with those she is working with is remarkable and used to exceptional effect on her 1999 release Words and Music. In addition to recording and performing at local jazz venues, Pallatto devotes considerable time on production activities for Southport, which concentrates on recording such renowned Chicago jazz talents as Von Freeman, Willie Pickens, and Eldee Young. ~ Dave Nathan

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