Joanna Connor

The Steddy Theater at the Center for the Arts
Show 8 pm // doors 7 pm

PLEASE NOTE: Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test must be shown for entry to events at the Center.

Numerous artists have been influenced by or had love affairs with the iconic African American art form called the Blues. Not many sought after it by diving headfirst into its epicenter – Chicago, and even fewer women have attempted.

Joanna made a pilgrimage at the age of 19 to the Windy City and set her mind to move there three years later. An abridged version of her years spent during the 80s prolific blues explosion would include years spent playing with Dion Payton and the 43rd St Blues Band in residencies at Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard Lounge , Theresa’s , the Cuddle Inn on the Southside of the blues capital, absorbing musical and life lessons playing guitar with Buddy Guy, Jr Wells, Otis Rush, Phil Guy, James Cotton, Lefty Dizz, Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Son Seals, Lonnie Brooks, Johnny Littlejohn, Magic Slim, Eddie Shaw and many other artists.

Years spent in the trenches at the late-night institution the Kingston Mines led to further musical adventures including a late-night set with none other than Jimmy Page.

Joanna was asked by the owner of Kingston Mines to headline her own nights at the club, and this led to the formation of her own wicked Chicago band and subsequently caught the ear of Blind Pig Records and the release of her first album “Believe It” in 1990. The music world was piqued with this brash in your face guitarist in the guise of an unassuming 28-year-old.

Years spent touring Europe , Asia , South America were to follow, deals with Gibson Guitars, Victoria Amps, almost a decade spent opening and recording occasionally with the legend Luther Allison in Europe and Albert Collins in the U.S., increased her notoriety as well as the release of almost a dozen recordings on her own and also numerous guest spots with others, a documentary film made about her by German Television WDR and several national and international television appearances all blazed a trail for future female guitarists and her hybrid blend of blues, rock and funk became a template for dozens of acts to follow.

In 2019, a few viral videos and her relentless work ethic caught the attention of Joe Bonamassa, and within a year Joe’s passionate and articulate vision to bring to the world Joanna’s unique, blazing, gritty and electrifying blues guitar prowess came to life. His expertise as a musician, vocalist and producer cut to the core of Joanna’s tremendous and uncompromising musical life story and brought to fruition her best and most representative work to date.

“A Masterpiece of Blues Rock.”– Music News
“Joanna Connor is at the top of her game.”– Rock and Blues Muse

“This recording ranks as Joanna Connor’s best to date, and I believe it has something to do with her producer, Joe Bonamassa; he has brought out the best in her.”– 10/10 Powerplay Magazine

“Her best album to date. It oozes style. Raw, pure and traditional blues.” – Blues Matters Magazine
“Musically, 4801 South Indiana Avenue is Connor’s most focused outing. It arguably showcases her world-class talent better than the others, simply because, unfettered from the practical concerns of a session, she can — and does — pursue this music for its own sake. With Bonamassa and Smith assisting, Connor’s performance offers her iconic playing, delivered with joyful abandon and plenty of attitude.” – AllMusic

“4801 South Indiana Avenue is a career-defining record for Joanna Connor. It’s an album that’ll be remembered for decades to come and everyone who lives for true, from-the-guts blues needs to hear it. If you only buy one record this year, this is the one you want.” – Rock and Blues Muse

“Joanna Connor has truly hit the bullseye here. Surrounding herself with world class musicians, she has created a masterpiece which takes the Blues at grassroots level and redefines it into an emotional, powerful monster of an album that confirms Connor’s place in the halls of the Blues elite. This is destined to be a future classic.” –Metal Planet
“The road has been long, but Joanna Connor has proven that her hard work and talent will always be appreciated, and her name will be on the lips of countless more people from this moment onwards.

Simply brilliant.” – Metal Talk
“Music like this makes you realize just how vital Blues is and how it sits at the core of so much great music made in the last 60 years… terrific album.” – Music News

Center for the Arts strives to enrich and engage the community by fostering artistic expression and cultural experiences in Crested Butte.