A native of Texas, Joni Janak attended Texas Tech University on a Vocal Scholarship. Raised in a very musical family Janak was taught singing, dancing and piano at the Amarillo College of Music which was owned and operated by her parents and grandparents. A passion for music began when she was very young. She gave public recitals from the age of eight and had her first professional singing job at 13.
Her earliest influence was Doris Day. Joni soon journeyed into the world of jazz, listening to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dakota Staton Ethel Ennis, Irene Kral, and June Christy.
She went to Houston, Texas, to sing in the Carriage Club at the Sheraton Lincoln Hotel until 1969 when she moved to Denver, Colorado, to further her career. In Denver, she sang with many residents and visiting jazz musicians at various clubs, among them Dale Bruning, Ellyn Rucker, Phil Urso, Peanuts Hucko, Bobby Greene, Todd Reid, the Hot Tomatoes Jazz Band, Howard Davis, and Jim Riley, recording with both of the last-named.
It was while Janak was appearing at the El Chapultepec club in Denver, where she has long held a residency, that she met Carl Fontana who invited her to Las Vegas to work with him. In Las Vegas, she also worked with Carson Smith, Tom Montgomery, Vinnie Tano, Bill Berry, Herbie Phillips and Bill Watrous. She also sang on a jazz cruise with the Johnny Carson Tonight Show Allstars.
Janak has appeared at many jazz festivals and at concerts, sometimes with Bruning and storyteller Jude Hibler, the founder of Jazz Link Enterprises. In the early years of the new millennium, her name was beginning to attract attention overseas with appearances in Europe and the release thereof her first own-name album and a set with Fontana. A dynamic and highly polished performer, owing in large part to her background of training and extensive experience, Janak’s maturity of sound results in highly satisfying performances.
"Few singers can interpret a melody and lyrics the way she can"
Since first performing, she has worked and/or recorded with such notables as Carl Fontana, Ross Tompkins, Carson Smith, Bill Watrous, Andy Simpkins, Jake Hanna, Bob Cooper, Conte and Pete Candoli, Pete Barbutti, and Ralph Sharon.
Since moving to Denver in 1969, she is considered to be The Song Stylist not only in that geographical location but to the ears of many fans, The Singer of Choice nationally and internationally. Her first European tour took place in Derry, Northern Ireland in 2001 and followed with a highly acclaimed appearance at the Derry Jazz Festival in 2002. She returned for another performance in April 2006. While there, she was a guest of several television and radio programs, including the BBC.
Her reputation for excellence is heard in her performances, as well as on her CD recordings, Let's Live Again, The Wind, and Always. She recorded Get Outta Here! with the group, Centerpiece Jazz. She is also featured on Ron Moewes; CD, Ron Moewes and Friends–All This You Gave to Me. Additionally, she is heard on several KUVO–89.3 FM jazz radio station's live performance studio CD's. Joni's voice can also be heard on many national as well as international commercials.
In the United States, her CD's are played by syndicated radio hosts Bob Bednar, Bob Parlocha, Jim Wilke, Woss Gentile, and Don Wolff. Collectively, these radio programs are heard in more than 100 cities throughout the United States as well as being streamed from websites worldwide.
Her CD's are available at www.cdbaby.com.
Jazz Cruise Ships
National and international commercials produced by Fred Arthur Productions: United Van Lines, Visa, Landmark Hotel (Las Vegas) Grease Monkey, Westin Hotels, Fisher Sound, Sanyo, PGA Golf.
Denver commercials: Eltches, KMGH-TV, Jerry Roth Chevrolet, Kitchens by Kline, Christy Lodge (Vail), Mountain States Bank, Stapelton Airport, Tabor Center's Picnic on the Roof.