Joanie Pallatto


Go to Joanie's Recordings








Joanie Pallatto
passion - performance – production



"A stirring and special voice.”
                                  RICK KOGAN, The Chicago Tribune

"For Joanie Pallatto, scatting is as natural as talking and a logical extension of her interpretations of lyrics." 
SCOTT YANOW, Jazz Inside Magazine

"Trying to channel Pallatto is like attempting to bottle a cyclone.  It's best to just let her run wild...”

"She has a voice that is forever young, and enchanting."

"She sings voluptuously, her voice all but overflowing the bounds of her music!”
NEIL TESSER, author, The PLAYBOY Guide to Jazz (Plume)

"... impressively in control ... Pallatto stands out in an overcrowded field"
LLOYD SACHS, The Chicago Sun-Times
"An airiness of spirit and a certain twinkle in the eye that pulls everything together and draws a listener in."
CHRIS HEIM, WBEZ 91.5 FM (Chicago Public Radio)

"Downright iconoclastic."
JOHN MCDONOUGH, DownBeat Magazine


     Described by Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune as having “a stirring and special voice,” Joanie Pallatto is a graduate of The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  Pallatto toured with The Glenn Miller Orchestra as a featured vocalist before moving to Chicago in 1979.  Co-owner and partner with pianist/composer and husband, Bradley Parker-Sparrow at Sparrow Sound Design Recording Studio and SOUTHPORT & NORTHPORT Records, Pallatto has expertise in all aspects of musical production.  As a solo singer, group singer and voiceover talent, she has recorded on hundreds of radio and television commercials nationally.

     As a jazz vocalist, Pallatto has released ten CDs, and performs at Chicago jazz clubs, including Katerina's, Andy's Jazz Club and the Green Mill, along with her New York debut at The Iridium.  Concert engagements have included The Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Cultural Center, The Old Town School of Folk Music, Park West, Stage 773 and Bailiwick Theater; she was also a featured soloist with Daniel Barenboim in "Ellington Among Friends" at Symphony Center in 1999.

     Recordings include the 1986 LP release of “Whisper Not,” followed by the CDs “Who Wrote This Song?" (1994), "Passing Tones" (1995), "FIRE with Von Freeman” (1996), "Two" with pianist/arranger Marshall Vente (1997), "Words and Music" (1999), and the 2000 release of "The King and I" with legendary pianist/composer King Fleming.  Pallatto has recorded original music on new releases with Sparrow, including “Sparrow AM/FM” (LP-1982), “The Desert Rat Suite” (1991), “Sparrow Solo” (1995), "We Are Not Machines" (2001), "Canned Beer" (2003), "The Light, a tone poem" (2004), “Shut Eye” (2006), “The New World” (AIR 2009) and “The Black Romantic” (2009).

     Pallatto released “It’s Not Easy” (2008 Southport Records), delivering ten original songs with her clear, soulful voice – from mellow jazz-tinged vocals, pop-reggae fun, flowing ballads to fiery Latin grooves.

     “As You Spend Your Life” (Southport 2011) is Pallatto’s 2nd recording of all original music (with the exception of Frank Foster’s “Simone.”  Pallatto penned the lyrics, and jazz legend Bob Dorough is featured on lead vocals and piano.)  In a 2012 review for JazzTimes, Christopher Loudon writes “Trying to channel Pallatto is like trying to bottle a cyclone.  It’s best to just let her run wild…”

"Two Again" (Southport 2015) Pallatto teams up (again!) with pianist-composer Marshall Vente to release their second piano-vocal duo recording since their critically acclaimed "Two" (Southport 1997.) "For Joanie Pallatto, scatting is as natural as talking and a logical extension of her interpretations of lyrics." - Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene



"Two Again" Joanie Pallatto & Marshall Vente (Southport 2015) Vocalist Pallatto and Pianist Vente team up again, with more fresh arrangements of great tunes, including “Help!,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” Walk On By,” and “Charade.” Liner notes by our hip friend (and Southport Lounge Artist) Bruce Bendinger. All tracks were recorded at Sparrow Sound Design on the 9' Baldwin Concert Grand with tube mics.
Writer Scott Yanow reviewed “Two Again” for the April 2015 issue of Jazz Inside Magazine.  Download the file here (page 56 (PDF):


     "Days with Joanie & Sparrow" (Southport 2013) But what is the song about? Is it a love song, or song about the condition of our society? "Days with Joanie & Sparrow" is a life collaboration of original songs - with the rhythm section of Luiz Ewerling, drums and Kurt Schweitz, bass along with featured artists Bobby Lewis, Pat Mallinger, George Freeman, John Devlin, David Onderdonk, Alejo Poveda, Steve Gibons, Eldee Young and Redd Holt. Design by Al Brandtner.


     "As You Spend Your Life" (Southport 2011) is a look into the heart, home and essence of Chicago singer-songwriter Joanie Pallatto.  This recording is an evolution of all of her life's passions, creating new songs that identify her unique and modern vision.  These are "Pop Songs with a Jazz Sensibility."  Pallatto has enlisted her usual cohorts, musicians that raise the bar in any recording project.  You'll hear guitar giant Fareed Haque, harmonica master and pianist Howard Levy, and a special feature with jazz legend, pianist and singer Bob Dorough on the great Frank Foster tune, "Simone" - (with new lyrics by Pallatto.)  You'll also hear Bradley Parker-Sparrow, Dave Onderdonk, Eric Hochberg, Michael Raynor, Alex Austin, Greg Fundis, Jason Smart and Larry Gray, along with vocalists April Aloisio, Nanette Frank, Diane Madison, and Teresa Davis!


     With Joanie Pallatto, “It’s Not Easy” (2008), Pallatto offers music and lyrics for ten original songs with her clear, soulful voice – from mellow jazz-tinged vocals, pop-reggae fun, flowing ballads to fiery Latin grooves – featuring guitarist Fareed Haque, the piano and harmonica of Howard Levy, percussion by Alejo Poveda, Bradley Parker-Sparrow on piano, john E. Magnan and Eric Hochberg on electric bass and John Devlin on accordion, guitars and bass.  An improvisation by Pallatto, Sparrow, drummer Michael Raynor and the late, great acoustic bassist Eldee Young is track #8, “Tickle, Tickle.”Reviews of “It’s Not Easy” include:
     “However, it may be Pallatto’s intelligent and creative songwriting that is the star of the show.” – Brad Walseth,

     “Hard to pick a favorite on the new album because they are all so darn good!” – Eric Cohen, WAER 88.3 FM, Syracuse, NY

     “Shut Eye” (2006) is the composer’s variations by Bradley Parker-Sparrow, with excerpts from the John Covert film.  Featuring Joanie Pallatto and the flugelhorn work of Bobby Lewis, the music is cinematic in scope.  Much of Pallatto’s work features wordless vocals, portraying the moods and characters imagined onscreen, including a breathy duet with Lewis on the sexy track “Wet.”
     “the light, a tone poem” (2005) from Sparrow and the Machine Band features Joanie Pallatto on vocals, narration from Ron Rolland, guitars and harmonica by Eric Noden, and the trio of Eldee Young, bass and Michael Raynor, drums.  …ethereal
     “Canned Beer” (2003) is from Sparrow & Joanie Pallatto, “The Machine Band.” With John E. Magnan on electric bass, and Alejo Poveda on drums, composer-pianist Sparrow with composer/vocalist Pallatto offer modern musical interpretations of popular/dance/hip-hop/cabaret and world music forms. With the Corporate Control of modern radio and media by consolidation and advance monopolies this CD and band is an attack of the closed system of not only radio, but live and concert music.
     “We Are Not Machines” (2001) is a CD by Sparrow, featuring Joanie Pallatto.  The CD contains film score excerpts from “Watch,” a John Covert film.  Deeply rooted in improvisation, Joanie’s vocals are a sexy tour de force!  Sparrow’s acoustic piano combines with the keyboard machines – a compelling battle!
     The year 2000 brings a new recording to the table, with legendary veteran pianist/composer King Fleming, "The King And I."All but four selections are
Fleming's originals, with several lyric contributions by Pallatto.  With Liner Notes by Chicago’s Rick Kogan, the CD features the King Fleming rhythm section of Clifford Griffin-bass and Bill Cochran-drums, with Von Freeman, Rich Fudoli and Bobby Lewis.
     On the 1999 release of "Words & Music," Joanie explores the pure essence of music from the Great American Songbook, and original compositions with her trademark jazz sensibility.  With Eldee Young, Rich Fudoli, Alejo Poveda, Sparrow, Dave Onderdonk, Willie Pickens...
     "TWO" with pianist/arranger Marshall Vente is Joanie's critically-acclaimed CD release from 1997.  One piano and one voice combine...
     Joanie is featured on the 1996 SOUTHPORT CD, "FIRE with Von Freeman" exploring free, improvised jazz with pianist Sparrow, bassist Tatsu Aoki and drummer Michael Raynor.
     "Passing Tones" is Joanie's 1995 CD release.  Featuring tenor sax great Von Freeman, and pianist extraordinaire Willie Pickens, Joanie explores her ever-expanding repertoire of classic standards, obscure song gems and original songs, with liner notes by jazz legend Bob Dorough!
     The 1994 CD release of "Who Wrote This Song?" features a who's who of Chicago's finest musicians, including Fareed Haque, Willie Pickens, Howard Levy, Steve Eisen, Larry Gray, Sparrow and vocalist/pianist/composer/lyricist and jazz legend, Bob Dorough.
     As a SOUTHPORT recording artist, Joanie's first album as a leader is from 1986, "Whisper Not."  Cliff Colnot arranged “Antonio’s Song” for nineteen strings with the rhythm section!  With Willie Pickens, Eldee Young and Robert Shy, this recording currently exists on vinyl LP and cassette.

Joanie Pallatto - 3501 N. Southport Ave. - Chicago, IL  60657  773-281-8510


Demo Disc

    1   Intro: LISTEN
    2   Everything: SHORT!
    3   I Sing: WORDS
    4   I Speak: VOICEOVER
    5   I Sing: NO WORDS
    6   I Need Something: IMPROVISATION
    7   Arranging: A VOCAL BREW
    8   Before The Voice: A SONG


                                                 MP3 DOWNLOAD


| Back To Artist Search |

Real Jazz Made In Chicago