Joanna Wallfisch

Joanna Wallfisch

Songwriting & General Music

Described by Downbeat Magazine as “an exquisite singer-songwriter”, Joanna’s music conveys a beauty of a many-coloured sort that speaks to straight to the human condition. Her songs reveal personal truths about love, loss, adventure, home and hope. World Music Report described it as “quintessential heart-music by a vocalist who seems to have connected with the deepest recesses of her being emerging into brightness again with songs of haunting beauty.”

Joanna is a master in the art of live vocal looping and as a multi-instrumentalist plays baritone ukulele, piano, flute, Indian shruti box, kalimba and melodica. Her music defies genre classification as she effortlessly imbues her songs with nuances of jazz, classical, art-song, and folk, carrying her “clear-eyed poetry” (Boston Globe) and “striking vocals” (Hothouse). Her songwriting extends beyond just lyrics and melody – Joanna also arranges for ensembles including string quartets, winds, a cappella voices and more.

Joanna’s career and adventurous spirit has taken her around the world. She has released five albums, to critical acclaim, and plans to release her sixth sometime in 2022. A multi-instrumentalist, Joanna plays guitar, piano, and is a master of vocal looping. Somewhat of a renaissance woman, she studied to be a painter at Central Saint Martins, London; this in turn led her to an auspicious stint living in Paris, where she busked on the bridges of the Seine, singing with the “Rene Miller Wedding Band”. She recalls singing on the streets of Paris as “living in a movie scene – it was then I knew I had to pursue music as my life”. Following this formative time she completed a masters degree in jazz at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

Joanna has worked on multiple film soundtracks and commercials, as both a vocalist, lyricist and songwriter. Her original song “Satellite” is featured in the movie Pressure, starring Danny Huston, and she also wrote lyrics for the featured soundtrack song “Summer Rain”. Other credits include: All the Beautiful Things (Sundance Film Festival, 2014), Desert Dancer (Dir. Richard Raymond. Orig Score Benjamin Wallfisch), Dear Wendy (by Lars von Trier. Orig Score Benjamin Wallfisch) and Summer in February, starring Dan Stevens (Orig Score Benjamin Wallfisch). She is also the featured vocalist on the national ad campaign of Hillshire Farm.

In 2012 she moved to New York City where she forged an indelible musical path, appearing and collaborating with jazz luminaries including Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Werner, Sam Newsome, Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer, to name a few. She is a multi-instrumentalist and a master of vocal looping. She has released five albums of original music, and appeared in venues and festivals globally including: National Concert Hall, Dublin, Woodford Folk Festival, Australia | London Jazz Festival, UK, Boston Court Arts Performing Centre, LA, Salisbury International Festival, UK, National Sawdust, Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, Smalls Jazz Club, New York City, and more.

Joanna’s unique musical background shines through in her own compositional style, evoking her classical routes with her love of jazz, art-song, folk and pop, pushing boundaries of genre and stylistic expectations. Her musical heritage is something to behold. Raised by classical musician parents, Australian violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch and London born cellist Raphael Wallfisch, her grandmother Anita Lasker Wallfisch, now 94, survived Auschwitz because she played the cello in the camp’s women’s orchestra. Post liberation she became a founding member of the English Chamber Orchestra. Brother Simon is a renowned cellist and opera singer, and eldest brother Benjamin is an Oscar and Grammy nominated film composer.

Music has been at the core of Joanna’s life, and the through line for everything she does, whether it is performing, teaching, travel or activism. Joanna is passionate about giving back to communities and the earth, and when she travels, she travels with meaning. She dedicates much of her time to working with non-profit organizations and charities such as Urban Voices Project – a non-profit organization that brings music education and therapy to people experiencing homelessness, in the Skid Row Community, Downtown LA. Joanna co-founded Family Sing – an early childhood music program that serves children and families who experience homelessness and related traumas. Joanna has also volunteered in India, with Song bound – a charity doing similar work, bringing music education to marginalized children living in severe poverty in Mumbai. Music is a gateway to so many aspects of life, and to physical and emotional wellbeing. During Joanna’s Australia tour, she donated to and lifted the voice of Cisarua – a non-profit based in Indonesia, building learning centers for refugees.


Bachelor of Fine Arts | Central Saint Martins College of Art, London
Master of Music in Jazz Performance/Composition | Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London


  • Wild Swan – 2011
  • The Origin Of Adjustable Things – 2015 (Sunnyside Records)
  • Gardens In My Mind – 2016 (Sunnyside Records)
  • Blood and Bone – 2018
  • Far Away From Any Place Called Home – 2019


The Great Song Cycle – Portland to LA on Two Wheels and a Song (UWA Press)