Joan Cartwright is a versatile individual with considerable talent in and outside of jazz as a performer, educator, and producer. Born in New York City, Joan studied piano and dance and has a bachelor of arts in communications and music and a master's degree in communications. After studying ballet and modern dance with Bernice Johnson, she taught children's dance at community centers in Philadelphia, Tampa, Deerfield Beach, and San Francisco. As a jazz performer, she appeared at the Blue Note in 1980 and 1981 in N.Y.C. After moving to Florida, Cartwright appeared at various jazz venues in that state, including Erny's in Delray Beach and O'Hara's in Fort Lauderdale. From 1990 to 1999, Cartwright became more deeply involved than ever in jazz and non-jazz activities in Florida and Europe. She co-produced and co-hosted the community based talk show Let's Get Serious for WLRN-CH 36/37 in Miami. In 1998, she produced and spearheaded the first annual Gaiafest Women's Jazz Festival in Fort Lauderdale featuring Dakota Staton and other women jazz artists. During her illustriously long career, Cartwright has performed with many top jazz performers including Sam Rivers, Dorothy Donegan, Cecil McBee, and Freddie Hubbard. Her composition "Sweet Return" is the title of a 1983 Freddie Hubbard recording for Atlantic Records. Released in 1998, her first solo album (Feelin' Good) was cut in Sicily with a talented group of Italian musicians. In 1999, she also recorded Italian Balladuer for Philology with Italian post-bop saxophonist Gianni Basso. In May of 1999, in celebration of Duke Ellington's centennial, Cartwright put together a program of Ellington's music and took it on tour throughout Italy. In 1999, a busy and productive year, Cartwright appeared at the 4th Roots Festival in the West African country of Gambia. Enormously gifted with the ability to spread the gospel of jazz via the classroom and the performance stage, Joan Cartwright has become a valuable jazz asset.
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