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, Monica Duffels, Dave Bainbridge, Mike Anders, Henk Oosting (, Joop van der Elst & Paul Heffer
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.


"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."

"The unique, angelic and crystal clear voice of Joanne Hogg....possibly without equal among contemporary rock vocalists."
Metal Hammer (Poland)
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2nd March 2019

Currently working on 6 new songs for Miracles and Parables part 2. Photos are from a recent session tracking drums and bass with my fav dynamic duo, Terl Bryant and Phil Barker. Miracles of healing, deliverance and raising the dead , and Parables about the Kingdom of God , the sower and the seed and the good shepherd. Instrumentation will be in keeping with part 1, so it’ll be drums, bass, cello, piano, guitar and my favourite brass instrument, the flugelhorn.
I’ll keep you posted. 😁 jo.

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25th February 2019

Hi Everyone,
Just to let you know that some of the Iona back catalogue plus my solo albums, are now available from Burning Shed - see

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9th February 2019

So , earlier this week, I went to London to record my favourite dynamic duo, Terl Bryant and Phil Barker ( both known to you Iona friends😁). I’ve been working on some new songs for the MAP Project Part 2. We recorded on three new songs, all parable songs! Good Shepherd, Listen( the story of Jesus talking to a crowd about the sower and the seed), and The Kings Party( one of the parables about the kingdom of heaven).
As always, the dynamic duo did not disappoint 😁.
Will keep you posted on progress.

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14th January 2019

Hi folks, Jo here.

Since my last trip to Moria camp in November, 1000 more refugees with this story, making this journey, arrived in Lesvos in December, needing kindness.

All the proceeds from the Road From Ruin CD go to support the R.A.I.N fund (Refugee Aid International Network) Click Here:

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2nd January 2019

Jo here,

To finish off the year, I thought I’d share the Horse and Rider video with you, in memory of Esmerado, my special white horse, featured in the artwork of Iona’s Another Realm, and this year in the artwork of The MAP Project.

The song, from Uncountable Stars, was remixed earlier this year to get a more panoramic sound for the videos use in an exhibition in Japan, so here it is..... the updated version of Horse and Rider, featuring Esmerado.

And finally, I’d like to wish you a very happy and blessed 2019.

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30th December 2018

Hi, Jo here. Thought you might enjoy this.... a wee clip from an evening of trad music with family and local friends at Christmas. I think it’ll be a Festive tradition for years to come 😁🎶

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26th December 2018

A gift for this season - FREE DOWLOAD
Christmas songs (in Dutch!) featuring Iona's Frank van Essen, Dave Bainbridge and Troy Donockley

Yesterday, Marlou & I sang on the marketsquare of our hometown, Hardenberg. Beautiful (Dutch) songs from our Christmas CD Immanuël. It was cold & wet, but we were so moved by the depth of the lyrics, the melodies & the arrangements I did 16 years ago now.
They are still powerful testimonies of Gods love for His people, and some of the arrangements are still favourites of mine, too.

Marlou & I decided to make them available for free this Christmas for you to enjoy. With a little extra: I found all the original mixes in my archives, and remastered them up to today's standards. Everything now sounds so much more open, warm & beautiful. Very happy!

So please feel free to listen and download the music.
And we wish you every blessing for the coming days & the new year. May the love & shalom of King Yeshua be with you always.

Feel free to share and spread the word!

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24th December 2018

A Special message from Frank van Essen.

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19th November 2018

18+ years after the Iona recording of this wonderful tune, I decided to record a new, improvised version with Dave Bainbridge. Listen to the full version at and enjoy SANCTUM

The melody of A Million Stars has been with me since my teens. It's one of those tunes that just "happened" one day while improvising on my own, and has never left me. One day I played it for Dave & Troy and they loved it, so that's how it ended up on the Iona album Open Sky. It's great to hear how the years have shaped the melody and both Dave's and my playing. The version on SANCTUM is as we improvised it in the studio, with a few minor edits, but it's very spontaneous and inspired. Hope you enjoy it. - Frank

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13th November 2018

Frank van Essen's SANCTUM is out now! Very excited to share it with you. With Dave Bainbridge, Troy Donockley and bass legend Jimmy Johnson, this is an album you don´t want to miss! Check it out on - and please share!

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26th October 2018

A small preview of Frank van Essen's S A N C T U M. The downloadable version will be available on the 25th via

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26th October 2018


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19th October 2018

Well, the 3 Peaks in 1 day was completed and I’m not sure of the exact total of funds raised, but it was amazing. Thanks so much to all of you who supported us. I hope to be returning to the camp on Lesbos next month so I’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, I’m trying to finish the songs for Road From Ruin. They wouldn’t be complete without the lovely Gwyneth playing cello 😁.

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22nd September 2018

Two peaks done. One more plus getting down from number two! Weather has been great 👍

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1st October 2018

Hi folks. The three peaks challenge is looming! Two days away. Yesterday I was back in Copper House studio with mate Stu Reid , working on three new songs for my interlude EP( between MAP Project Parts 1&2). It will have 4 new tracks and I’m going to add 3 from Uncountable Stars , on a similar theme. The new songs have been inspired by some personal accounts of refugee experiences. This will be exclusively a fundraising non profit project.
If you’d like to support the 3 Peaks challenge for charity R.A.I.N ( Refugee Aid International Network) that I continue my involvement with, then you can use the link below.

Thankyou again.
I’ll keep you posted on everything! ⛰🎶
Ps. The picture was taken yesterday as Storm Ali hit our north coast!

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14th September 2018

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30th August 2018

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12th June 2018

A few images from my recent trip to Lesvos island , Greece. There are close to 8000 refugees stuck here. Some have lived through two winters in this place. The sense of despair is so real and some surveys have revealed that one in three people , including children, have witnessed someone commit suicide in these environments. The conditions are difficult to convey and their experiences impossible to imagine. On this trip , we discovered several Christian voluntary groups doing incredible work to try and alleviate the suffering, but resources are scarce and the numbers continue to increase. A thousand more refugees, mostly Syrian arrived on the island in April, the same in May..... and so it goes on. A team of us will return in two weeks though this time , I’m unable to go. I’m planning another hiking adventure in a couple of months to fundraise but I will give details nearer the time. Please continue to prayerfully remember these folk , refugees and volunteers.

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12th June 2018

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30th December 2018

Thought you would enjoy watching this video of me recording drums for Labyrinth, a new track for my solo album. There is a section in there calles "Maze" which has alternating bars of 11/8 and 13/8 - going well into Iona territory there! Dave and Troy are currently recording their parts for it, and the great Jimmy Johnson is playing bass for this which is exciting! Enjoy and there will be more music soon!

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27th April 2018

Hi folks, here is a quick update on SANCTUM. Happy to say I am making good progress and some exciting things happening... Some new music at the end of this, hope you enjoy that! Love - Frank
PS For more info on SANCTUM - go here:

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25th April 2018

Hi Everyone,
We're gradually moving the Open Sky Records/Iona mailing list over to my Wix mailing list as BT keeps blocking our mailouts! Very frustrating. So if you'd like to stay in touch with us for gigs/news/album release updates for me / Celestial Fire / Dave & Sally / Iona (possible re-release/downloads news etc), please subscribe on my website. (If you've already subscribed on here, no need to do it again, unless you've changed email address). Thanks! We won't bombard you with emails - probably 3 or 4 a month on average. (Dave Bainbridge)

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19th April 2018

Finally I’ve got through the packing and the postage of The Map Project Part 1 pre orders! Hopefully none get lost but please allow time for delivery and let me know if yours doesn’t arrive. I’ve included a few screenshots of some of the orders. Maybe you’ll spot yours. ! Official digital release will be next month. ( The second image was photographed on Tuesday at Downhill, North Coast , Ireland)

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21st April 2018

Hi Everyone, Dave Bainbridge here. Here are my latest tour dates! Lots happening over the next few months with the Dave Bainbridge & Sally Minnear duo, Lifesigns, a solo gig, Celestial Fire in September and in the autumn, Strawbs. Hope to see you at a gig somewhere!

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9th April 2018

Together with Yasunori Mitsuda( composer) and Michael McGlynn( Anuna) after the four performances of the Xenogears soundtrack. Then a quick tour of some parts of Tokyo from the crowded market streets to tranquil park...... very easy to get lost here, and so many are. Very happy to have sold nearly all the MAP Project cds I brought with me. Heading home tomorrow. Thankyou so much for all your good wishes and prayers for this trip.

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26th April 2018

Cancelled flights on Wednesday and MAP cds land same day. Arrive Tokyo one day late , with cds and jet lag and go straight to rehearsal/ sound check with orchestra and band. The production also featured amazing vocal ensemble Anuna. More to follow later.......

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5th April 2018

Well, the last 24hrs have been a bit of an adventure!

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2nd April 2018

White Horse, Another Realm, Irish Day, Beyond These Shores, Edge of the World.....

(MAP early bird pre-order, click here

A few Iona titles visually referenced in this, the only video from Uncountable Stars, and several glimpses of the The Map Project artwork.

It’s been under wraps for 18 months with nothing to link it to until now, with the imminent release of The Map Project.

Deadline for The Map Project pre ordering at discounted postage is one week away, March 24th and the bonus cd will be a limited edition run.

If you’d like to pre-order, click here

Thanks and blessings

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18th March 2018

Hi Everyone,
My Celestial Fire band, which of course includes Frank Van Essen of Iona, now has a Facebook page. It would be great if you could 'like' and 'follow' us. Thanks!! Dave Bainbridge

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28th February 2018

Spot the connection ! ( might need to zoom in on the second image!). No sign of the “beast from the east” here today! Just a chilly breeze and visibility for miles. 😁

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