Joni Clare graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her early vocal training included classical, jazz, musical theater, and gospel repertoires while performing in the University Choir, Women’s Choir, and Jazz Ensemble. She later specialized in extended vocal techniques, experimental improvisation, composition, and vocal pedagogy with performances in the Contemporary Music Ensemble, Experimental Improvisation Ensemble, and a collaborative vocal-dance piece.
Clare’s early singing and performances took place in church, home and school. She developed a passion and meaning for music, singing with her mom and dad in many positive loving communities that she remains grateful for today. She took every opportunity to sing solos and leads in show choir, musicals, class choir, and solo and ensemble competitions. It is very clear that Clare, early on carried strong passion and very little fear to sing, dance, and play instruments. These observations are carried through her performances and teaching services today.
Clare began to plug her voice into the Milwaukee, WI music scene in her early 20’s back-up singing with local groups, Soup and Fable and the World Flat. Studying and performing music from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead on weekend nights while singing Classical pieces in college during the week, she quickly advanced her dynamic voice for writing original music. She cultivated something unique and eclectic that struck a balance between her collegiate work, reflective writing, and collaborations with other Milwaukee musicians.
She composed a raw, striped-down collection of songs (Harvest 2015) during an art-in-residency at the Wormfarm Institute. She also recorded a freely improvised album, The Waking Hour (2015) with two other Milwaukee improvising musicians before heading out to Portland. Most of Clare’s writing, recording and performing is now with her band of 5 years, The City Pines in Portland, Oregon.