Joanne Brackeen is a gifted pianist and composer whose harmonically advanced, creatively complex, and rhythmically adventuresome music greatly enhanced the development of jazz during the closing decades of the 20th century. Born Joanne Grogan in Ventura, CA on July 26, 1938, she was mostly self-taught but did study at the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Although her earliest inspiration was pop pianist Frankie Carle, her life was permanently altered by the music of Charlie Parker and she rapidly developed into an aspiring jazz pianist. By the late '50s, in fact, she was gigging with saxophonists Teddy Edwards, Dexter Gordon, Harold Land, Charles Lloyd, and Charles Brackeen, a friend of trumpeter Don Cherry and drummer Ed Blackwell. After getting married, the two relocated to New York City in 1965 and were eventually divorced, after which she raised their four children even as her artistry blossomed under the influence of McCoy Tyner, Ornette Coleman, and Chick Corea.