Joanna Chapman-Smith

Joanna Chapman-Smith

 Toronto, Ontario, CAN

Joanna Chapman-Smith plays folk music that has a little crush on jazz ~ and is “one of Canada’s best, with a gorgeous, fluid voice." - THE PROVINCE [CANADA]


Toronto-based artist Joanna Chapman-Smith's musical scope is matched only by the diversity of her heritage. The well-travelled songwriter and vocalist has familial roots in Canada, USA, New Zealand, Italy and Brazil, and her three studio albums draw on this richness of experience. She has studied music, literature, vocal science, circus skills and folklore and worked with a range of musicians whose credits are as widespread as Nina Simone and Bedouin Soundclash.

Her touring history is no different: She has performed headline shows in Eastern and Western Canada, the USA, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Denmark in support of her releases, developing a balance of emotional depth and technical skill which has earned her excellent critical praise and a loyal audience over several continents.

Between her last two albums – “Contraries” (2009) and “Love Me Deeply” (2013) – Chapman-Smith's health took a turn for the worse, causing her to lose her voice completely. Amidst concern from doctors that the loss may be permanent, she began a journey of re-discovery and re-connection with her voice which led to its return, stronger and more versatile than before. The depth of this connection was not lost on her, and she began studies with some of the world leaders in vocal science, including Dr. Ingo R. Titze and Dr. Kittie Verdolini-Abbott, forging a personal connection between the physical qualities and the emotional power of the voice.

“Love Me Deeply” charts the parallel themes of Voice Lost and Recovered and Love Lost and Found, and is made up of the songs that formed part of that journey. At times disarmingly personal, and showcasing her depth of vocal understanding throughout, the album was written and recorded over a year in Vancouver, BC, and features some of Canada's best players, including Albert St. Albert (Nina Simone), Jaron Freeman-Fox (Oliver Shroer, Ben Caplan, Sam Lee) and Sarah MacDougall. The album was mixed in England at Valley Wood Studio by Barkley McKay (The Pretty Things, Crystal Gayle) under the supervision of her co-producer Mat Martin (Kreg Viesselman, Myshkin).

Since it's release in Canada this year, “Love Me Deeply” has received critical acclaim in several of the major Canadian publications, including The Globe & Mail, The Province and The Toronto Star. The previous album, “Contraries”, garnered airplay in over fifteen countries, including on the CBC, the BBC and NPR. Her song from that album “Melodies” won the Best Acoustic Song category in the 9th Annual Independent Music Awards, for which the judging panel included songwriting legend Tom Waits.

Chapman-Smith has received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council in support of her touring and her ongoing “Folk Tale” project, conducting creative research into a global cross-section of traditional folklore and composing new songs based on them – an established project which was awarded a new round of funding in 2013. She is also the founder of the Songbirds Travelling Music School which delivers music, vocal and creative workshops in the hearts of existing communities.

New work from the “Folk Tale” and Songbirds projects will be premiered in January 2014 at Toronto's Hugh's Room, where “Love Me Deeply” was launched to a full house in 2013.



Written By: Joanna Chapman-Smith

Snow, where now there’s summer
Hunger, now I’m full
A Charcoal masterpiece in the sand
The crow that flew away
Melodies fading fast
Memories just flying past
Some of these will never last
What’s then left to say?

In the morning light
In the morning light
I roll to my right
And open my eyes
And I see you there
Yes I see you there
Well some of these were built to last
What’s then left to say?

Canvas, now there’s colour
Quiet, in a chord
An empty hall in a crowded room
The day you said you’d stay
Melodies fading fast
Memories just flying past
Some of these will come at last
What’s then left to say? (x2)


Eyre Corvidae (2006)
Lily Come Down (2008)
Contraries (2009)
Love Me Deeply (2013)

Set List


2 x 45 min. sets of acoustic material - mostly originals, with a few covers (E.g. "A Case of You" by Joni Mitchell and "A Little Sugar In My Bowl" by Nina Simone) - and storytelling.

Up to 3 hrs of music available upon request. Samples can be heard here:


(All songs by Chapman-Smith, except where stated)

Tactile World
Ain't I Good To You? (A. Razaf / D. Redman)
Get In Line
Smile For Me
Open Fire
A Case Of You (J. Mitchell)
Arbitrary Lines
Things Are Gonna Go Wrong
Cry For The Departed
A Glass Of Right & Wrong
Born To Be
Goose Girl
Between The Minds
For Good
The Dealer