Vocalist-in-Residence: Joan Hammel




Award winning vocalist Joan Hammel talks with Big Blend Radio about her music career, her recordings ‘Nature Walk’ and ‘America’, and National Park residencies.

Joan has been nominated five times for Pop Entertainer of the Year by the Chicago Music Awards. The Illinois Arts Council placed Joan on their Illinois ArtsTour Roster of artists. ASCAP gave her their fifth ASCAPLUS Writer’s Award, where a panel of music experts recognize active writers in the early and mid-stages of their careers with cash and recognition. The YWCA of Lake County awarded Joan their Women of Achievement Award in the Arts category. The Robert M. MacNamara Foundation awarded her one of its residencies where she wrote new music. She was also selected as an Artist in Residence for the National Park Service during their 100 anniversary year, which culminated in the release of the song: Nature Walk.

Her first full length CD entitled joanland is a collection of 11 original songs performed by Joan and a variety of talented musicians and was included on the Grammy Awards Nominations Ballot in four different categories. Appearing are members of the Cryan’ Shames and blues legend Corky Siegel, as well as Skip Griparis of the Major League movies. Joan was also the vocalist on the recording of Oh Lady Di for the late Princess of Wales benefiting her Foundation and charities. This recording also put Joan on the Grammy Awards Nominations Ballot in a number of categories.

Joan was the singer on America recorded after 9-11. It can currently be heard on the website for the Flight 93 Memorial in California, and has been chosen to be included in the Artist Registry for the National 9-11 Memorial in New York City. The song led to Joan being chosen by Washington for a nine-day USO tour to entertain the troops including New Year’s Eve in Cuba and another appearance on the Grammy Awards Nominations Ballot. Other performance highlights include appearing as a headliner during the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and working all around the globe in places like the Caribbean and Las Vegas, including Caesar’s Palace.

She has shared billing with entertainers like Buddy Rich, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, the Chi-Lites, the Cryan’ Shames, David Sanborn, Brenda Russell, Shirley King, Taj Mahal, Johnny Frigo, Frank Mantooth, Rare Earth, James Moody and the Second City Comedy Troupe. She has sung at Holy Name Cathedral many times and performed a concert as a part of acclaimed cellist Yoyo Ma’s yearlong Silk Road project in Chicago.


She served on the Board of Governors in Chicago for the GRAMMYs for many years, and was a part of the first female President/Vice President team in Academy history. She chaired the Education Committee. Through them, she has chaired the Chicago premieres of the Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett movie, “Music of the Heart,” and “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” with Richard Dreyfuss. She is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and SAG/AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) where she is a member of the Singers Committee.

She has studied singing and recorded with Robert Harris of Northwestern University as well as studying both singing and conducting with the legendary Margaret Hills of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. She studied voice and acting with Tony Randall and operatic singer, Sherrill Milnes. At Ravinia, she had a master class with Conductor Christoph Eschenbach. She also had a vocal masterclass with Roger Love.

Joan is currently working on original recording projects of her own as well as others. More at www.JoanHammel.com

National Parks Arts Foundation

No Feedback Received