Whether she’s covering the tender J.J. Johnson ballad “Lament,” Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” the Gerry Goffin/Carole King favorite “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?,” the achingly slow Ray Charles vehicle, “Drown In My Own Tears,” or the jazz standards “I Remember You” and “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You),” Pascale delivers with uncommon passion and finesse, incredible clarity and a touch of class.
A singer of rare sophistication, Philadelphia native Joanna Pascale delivers timeless standards with spellbinding power and intimacy. After honing her style and repertoire during a decade-long engagement at the Lowes Philadelphia Hotel, Pascale showcases her unique way of interpreting a lyric on her fourth album, Wildwood, which features fellow Philadelphians Orrin Evans on piano and Christian McBride on bass, along with Donald Edwards on drums. “If I don’t connect with a lyric, I can’t sing the song,” she says. “I love to dig into the words and find all the different shades, the stories within the story, and then try to interpret that.”
A product of Philly’s renowned High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), which also boasts guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, bassist McBride, organist Joey DeFrancesco and members of The Roots as graduates, Pascale attended Temple University, where she is now a member of the faculty. She appeared on the Temple University Jazz Band’s Thad Jones tribute, To Thad With Love, and is also featured on Tim Warfield’s Jazzy Christmas, Jeremy Pelt’s Soul, Orrin Evans’ Liberation Blues and Larry McKenna’s From All Sides. She made her debut as a leader in 2004 with When Lights Are Low and followed with 2008’s Through My Eyes and 2012’s Play The Great American Songbook, a duo recording with Chicago-born pianist Anthony Wonsey. “For me, it’s the space between the words that tells the story,” says Pascale. “The fun in storytelling is finding a way of phrasing so that the listener connects to your intention and all the ways you feel the subtle shades of the emotions in the story.”