Joanne is the lead singer of the Celtic band Iona. She was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and a nurse. She studied medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, and following an audition at an arts festival in Holland, was invited to join a singing group based in Denmark. She took a year off from her studies, and also recorded for Adrian Snell on his landmark Alpha and Omega project. She subsequently returned to Queens to complete her two remaining years of study, and then interned as a junior doctor at Belfast City Hospital to complete her registration.
Some six months into her internship, she was taken seriously ill and was consequently required to rest and recover. She eventually completed her registration as a doctor, but was advised on medical grounds not to continue in full-time medical practice. It was during her convalescence that she was contacted by Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald, who were in the process of forming Iona and were convinced that Joanne was the right choice to take the role of lead singer and co-composer. She agreed, and the rest is history. Since then, Iona have toured all over Europe and America, and their recordings have become phenomenally successful worldwide, making them one of Europe’s best-selling Celtic bands.
Joanne recorded her first solo album in 1999, entitled Looking into Light a selection of newly arranged traditional hymns, with musicians from Iona providing the instrumental melodies. In 2001, Hogg collaborated with vocalists Máire Brennan and Margaret Becker and released an album of New Irish Hymns, the first of three in a series of similar projects.
In 2008, she released two solo albums, Raphael’s Journey and Personal. Raphael’s Journey is available only as a download and features friend Máire Brennan of Clannad. Her Personal album was also released alongside a press release designed to give fans an insight into the process and making of the album.
Her vocals have also been featured in videogames, most notably the Sony PlayStation role-playing video game, Xenogears. You can stay in touch with her latest recording and touring work at www.Iona.uk.com