Joanne Hogg

Joanne's Gear Page > Co-founder, songwriter, musician Iona / 1989-present
Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard
Photos by Lutz Diehl, Mike Anders, Paul Heffer, Monica Duffels, Dave Bainbridge, Henk Oosting (henkoosting.com) & Joop van der Elst
J oanne was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland shortly after her parents returned from India where they had worked as missionaries for 13 years. She has 5 siblings, all health care professionals and all with musical tendencies, nurtured in a home environment that was rarely without the sound of music being played or sung. Joanne started piano lessons at the age of 10 and continued for four years until it became difficult to find piano teachers in the rural area where they lived. Her early childhood was lived in the County Antrim town of Randalstown, and for the remainder of her school and university years up until she married in 1985, the town of Magherafelt, County Derry, was her home.

Joanne began attending Queen's University Belfast to study medicine in 1981. After her third year at Queen's, she received information through the post about a summer music and arts event in DeBron, Holland called Christian Artists which she thought would be an interesting experience, little did she know it was going to change her life! When Joanne arrived in Holland, she discovered that unknown to her, someone had entered her into the talent evaluation session.

At Christian Artists, she came into contact with well known contemporary Christian musician Adrian Snell who encouraged her and asked her to send him a demo tape which she later did. Joanne was also heard singing at the talent evaluation by a staff worker for Youth For Christ (YFC), Denmark who immediately invited her to work with them for a year doing schools ministry work. Once back in Ireland she persuaded the Dean of the faculty to allow her to take an unconventional "year out" and work with (YFC) in Denmark. During the school term months of September to June, she traveled throughout the country visiting schools and colleges giving solo concerts and talking to students about music, faith, and the cultural aspects of life as a student in the politically charged environment of Northern Ireland. Too much talking and singing resulted in Joanne developing nodules on her vocal chords and the prospect of singing as a career looked highly unlikely.

After returning to Northern Ireland in the summer of 1985, Joanne married Stephen and returned to university to complete her medical degree. In early 1986 Adrian Snell, hugely impressed by the demo Jo had given him months earlier, invited her to record a solo vocal track on his landmark 'Alpha and Omega' project. As a result of her involvement with this, Joanne was introduced to Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald who also met during the recording of the same album. Several months after the release of 'Alpha and Omega' Adrian asked Jo to join the Swiss leg of the 'A & O' tour on which she sang her solo track and also played an opening set of her own songs. Dave and David were also on the tour with Adrian and all got on very well together.

She graduated from university in 1987 and worked as a junior doctor in the Belfast City Hospital to complete her registration. Six months into the job, Joanne became ill and was unable to work for 7 months. She recovered sufficiently to resume her post and completed her registration, but once that was achieved, she took medical advice not to continue in full time work for the remainder of that year. During this period of convalescence, she was contacted by Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald who were beginning to think about the possibility of forming a band. They felt that Joanne, as both a vocalist, musician and writer, would work well with the instrumental duo. In 1989 (the band) began their long history and is now in it's 22nd year.

During this time Joanne has sung with throughout Europe, and in the USA and Japan. The band has just released their seventh studio recording, a double album entitled "Another Realm". They have also produced several live recordings.

Joanne's voice has been featured on many other Christian albums, including several New Irish Hymns recordings (with Clannad's Moya Brennan) and the Celtic Expressions series, and has been heard by millions across the world singing on the soundtrack for a Sony Playstation game called "Xenogears"! She has sung on numerous television broadcasts throughout the past 15 years, including many appearances on BBC's "Songs of Praise" programme. Her most recent TV performance was on BBC Northern Ireland's series entitled "My Wee World" which included contributions from the children of primary schools across the province, including Jo's two boys Isaac and Ethan and their classmates. The song featured on the programme was entitled "Into Your Dreams", from Jo's album "Raphael's Journey" (see later notes).

Joanne's first solo album release was in 1999, entitled "Looking Into Light" (Later re-released as 'Celtic Hymns - Looking into Light'). This project was inspired by a suggestion made by Joanne's father to record an album of hymns. It was only after the sudden death of her mother in February 1997 that she felt the urge to begin working on tracks for the album that would be dedicated to her father. Some of the hymns selected had strong associations with her family's past, while some were chosen for their Celtic melodic qualities as well as their powerful lyrics. Joanne also selected some lesser known hymn lyrics and wrote original melodies to sing them to. The album featured contributions from members of Iona, past and present, from Joanne's three sisters, and also atmospheric sounds recorded in a sea cave in Donegal. The album was beautifully produced by Dave Bainbridge and is currently available as part of a double box set from Kingsway Music.

In 2001, after many years of waiting, Joanne and Stephen had their first child, Isaac. A year and a half later his brother Ethan was born. Busy home life, the death of her father after a prolonged illness, and also major surgery for Joanne meant that the band's activity was restricted during the next few years, although it didn't completely grind to a halt. produced two more excellent albums, "Open Sky" and "The Circling Hour", but things lost momentum for a variety of reasons. Not surprisingly, as a mother, Joanne began considering the idea of recording a lullaby project. After experiencing the early years of parenting however, she came to the conclusion that exhausted, stressed out adults were in greater need of "lullabies" than most kids are. In 2006, Joanne together with Frank Van Essen as producer, began work on a project to create and record music that would convey a sense of peace, beauty and comfort and enable listeners to rest and maybe even to fall asleep. In 2008, "Raphael's Journey" was released as a download only, but was sadly under-promoted with only a few hundred sales. In 2010, CD's of the album were finally manufactured and are now available from Iona's website and at gigs. The profits from this recording will be donated to several organisations that seek to alleviate the suffering of children in extreme poverty.

Also in 2008, Joanne recorded and released an album called "Personal" through Kingsway Music. As the title suggests, the album is a reflective consideration of her own spiritual journey, and is intimate, worshipful and acoustic in style. It was recorded in Nashville in three days and produced by John Hartley and Derri Dogherty. It is very different in style to and shows another side to Joanne as a singer and songwriter. The album features the distinctive drumming and percussion playing of past member Terl Bryant. This album is currently available form Kingsway Music as part of a double box set together with "Looking Into Light" (1999).

Now with a renewed vision, momentum and enthusiasm, Joanne continues to record and tour with and is an active member of Causeway Coast Vineyard church in Coleraine, where she has just completed a 9 month course in their Encounter School of Mission.

Jo has been voted 'Best Female Vocalist' by the 'Classic Rock Society' on three occasions.

Quotes:

"Joanne Hogg is possessed of a beautiful voice somewhere between Maire Brennan and Julianne Regan ... which sends shivers down the spine."
Rock 'n Reel

"Joanne Hogg's voice in particular is spectacular."
Q Magazine

"Hogg's amazing, ethereal voice supported by incredible musicianship carries her gifts without overpowering them ... 'Looking into Light' is a treasure not to be missed."
CCM (USA)

"The unique, angelic and crystal clear voice of Joanne Hogg....possibly without equal among contemporary rock vocalists."
Metal Hammer (Poland)
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23rd May 2022

Just a few tickets left!


4th March 2022

Hi Everyone, I've been working towards launching my Patreon page for the past several months and am thrilled it's finally 'live'! Of course I'd no idea when I started preparing it that the world would be in the grip of yet another terrible crisis, with Putin's totally unjustified and brutal invasion of the sovereign country of Ukraine. This of course affects all our lives in many profound ways, the enormous ramifications of which are still unfolding. Like you I'm sure, my heart is aching for the innocent people who's lives are being devastated by this totally unjustified war, especially the young children caught up in a terrifying situation they don't understand. I thought of postponing the launch of the page as it seems so trivial a thing to be doing in such unsettling times. However, if our peaceful way of life is undermined and artistic expression is stifled, then the enemy wins. More than ever in this divided world we need to come together and find common ground through the things that unite us, and our shared love of music is one way we can do this. When our hearts are crying out for peace, music can help to soothe our souls and connect us to a deeper, eternal reality. Thank you for reading this, and, if you choose, your patronage. I will continue to make music because I profoundly believe in the hope of a better future for us all, and this is the way I can express that hope.


18th April 2022

People who love Iona's music - have you heard Dave Bainbridge's new album 'To The Far Away yet? Here are some quotes from people who have:

“The lockdown had taken Dave away from touring, putting himself in composing mode and the result will probably outclass the previous glories as this whopper is a timeless classic of the finest vintage…..A no nonsense top 3 album for 2021, a true prog classic. A must hear and a must have.”
progarchives.com

“To The Far Away, just might be, well - the best thing he’s ever done – and with his years of output that’s saying a lot. Of course everything’s subjective, but I think it’s safe to say that 'To The Far Away' is easily Dave Bainbridge’s most accessible work, containing not just the expected virtuoso performances from all involved, but compositions that will please followers of Dave’s work with Iona, his solo projects, and his contributions to albums by the likes of Strawbs and Lifesigns. A brilliant balance of vocal and instrumental tracks, 'To The Far Away' will thrill and delight fans of both Celtic and ‘traditional’ prog-rock, and anyone open to more adventurous realms of music in general……If you’re a fan of Iona, Dave Bainbridge’s solo work, Celtic prog, classic prog-rock – whatever! You need this.”
Bert Saraco - tollbooth.org

"If you remember the band 'Iona' you will love this album. It's a masterpiece of Celtic Prog Rock...a thrillingly epic, goose-bump inducing journey of heartfelt songs and soaring instrumentals with the beautiful sound and imaginative playing of Dave Bainbridge and a host of superb guest artists."
Nigel Cameron - Celtish

"It sounds wonderful and as I miss Iona it is like they have returned."
Clive Poyser

"To the Far Away, is a wonderful journey of the mind, full of captivating music throughout. This album is one of the best albums of 2021. It is definitely in the top ten progressive rock albums of the year. With Dave Bainbridge’s years of experience making great music with Iona and on his own solo work, I knew this would be one of the best albums of the year, and it definitely lived up to and exceeded every expectation. Please get this album, relax and enjoy the journey. Every song is captivating and full of the kind of music that made Iona famous."


"To The Far Away is deeply beautiful and stunningly majestic. There is vision and sentiment that touches and is touching. From beginning to finale, not a wasted note, not a wasted space. It is reminiscent of Clannad and Capercaille and soars with the energy of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The singing is lilting and sweet. The lyrics, stories of depth and a passion for the best of humanity. Tremendous performances by all involved in this truly noteworthy album. Each piece is strong and leads to the next. I couldn't stop. Congratulations on an amazing album."
Ken Stasion

“And just to get straight to the point, the music is of great, if not exceptional, class….the wonderful Celtic influences in the music are back. Both Troy Donockley and Martin Nolan, his successor at Iona, sprinkle liberally with Celtic flute sounds….lovers of atmospheric symphonic music have a pearl in their hands with this album. This is hashtag #heavenly.”


21st October 2021

THE MAP PROJECT PART 2.....
Finally, 4 years including a pandemic later, the Map Project Part 2 is completed. The order has been placed for CDs so I’ll hopefully have those ready to post out by the end of November.
I’ll keep you posted. 😁




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