Her destiny became obvious to Joanie Leeds’ parents when, at the tender age of 2, Joanie grabbed the performers mic at a party and belted out the entire song “Tomorrow” from Annie. Jaws dropped! No one could remember ever hearing a big voice like that coming from one so tiny and certainly no one would have thought she would one day earn a GRAMMY®️ Award for her original music.
As a musical theatre major at Syracuse University, Joanie began composing her own songs. After graduation, she did the New York City thing, bartending at The Bitter End when not onstage performing. While making the rounds as a singer/songwriter in New York clubs (her favorites were Rockwood, The Bitter End, The Living Room, Arlene’s Grocery and CBGB’s), Joanie tried her hand at about ten different day gigs until a friend suggested that she get a job where she could sing with kids during the day and perhaps sleep at night. You could say that Joanie found (as in “discovered”) herself, managing one of the Manhattan Gymboree locations and singing with and for kids all day long. The nocturnal club scene was fun, but making music with children was real fun.
Life clicked into place when Joanie realized that when she was with children, they transformed themselves into amazing creatures of joy, forgetting how to hold back. Seeing the kids get in touch with their true selves gave Joanie a sense of fulfillment that far surpassed playing for adults on the club circuit.
The songs that Joanie Leeds began turning out reflected this sense that life is a joyful adventure. Entertaining at birthday parties and pre- schools soon progressed into concert performances nationwide back in 2008 and has since generated material for nine full length albums: City Kid!, Challah, Challah, I’m A Rock Star, What A Zoo, Bandwagon, Good Egg, Meshugana, Brooklyn Baby and most recently, GRAMMY® Nominated All the Ladies! Joanie has also released 2 full length DVDs, City Kid Live and Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights- Live from Madison Square Park.
Over the past decade, Joanie has won 1st place in the USA Songwriting Competition, an Independent Music Award, a GOLD Parents’ Choice Award, NAPPA GOLD Award, Family Choice Award and is a John Lennon Songwriting Competition Finalist and International Songwriting Competition Finalist. She has performed at venues nationwide including Lollapalooza, Clearwater Festival, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Wolftrap and Levitt Pavilion. Her music has been featured in the New York Times, People Magazine, Parents Magazine, Billboard and The Washington Post and played on radio stations and risen to #1 on Sirius XM’s Kids Place Live.
Joanie released her GRAMMY®️ AWARD WINNING album (All the Ladies) in April 2020 during the ongoing pandemic and is working on song commission work and performing from home until it’s safe to tour again. Her favorite job of all is mama to her 5 year old daughter.