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Jo Elms is a singer, songwriter, and actor, with a clear, melodic voice, perfect pitch and a vibrant, engaging personality. She’s worked in the realms of theatre, television and stage.
She plays guitar, percussion and piano.
Jo was raised in Christchurch New Zealand and was introduced to theatre at age 11.
She appeared in many theatrical productions, which gave her a solid grounding for her future musical career. Throughout her teenage years, Jo was involved with choral groups and various musical projects. Her first lead role was in her senior school production ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ as Rosie Alvarez.
At 18 she discovered jazz and studied at the Christchurch Polytechnic School of Jazz (CPIT). She graduated with an A Grade Diploma in Jazz Performance. That same year she was presented with the Jazz Soloist of the South Island Award. This granted her a trip to Wellington to undertake her first professional recording of Jazz Standards via the National Radio program titled ‘First Time Out’.
Her first single, ‘Closest Thing to Heaven’, was released through Warner Bros Music NZ and led a National Family Violence campaign. It reached #5 on the NZ charts. She then moved to Sydney in 1998.
Jo's won awards for her original compositions in the 25th Australian National Songwriting Contest and twice at the Musicoz awards and has given electric performances at The Manly International Jazz Festival, The Darling Harbour Jazz and Blues Festival, The Norfolk Island Jazz Festival, The New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival and the Java Jazz Festival held in Jakarta Indonesia alongside Chaka Khan, Jamie Cullum and Level 42. She’s composed songs for the hit children’s TV series ‘As The Bell Rings’ (Disney Channel). She’s sung backing vocals for artists such as Rick Price, Glenn Shorrock, Tina Arena, Mark Williams, Margaret Urlich, Julie Anthony and Steve Clisby.
Other credits include a lead role in ‘The Official Tribute to the Blues Brothers- Live On Stage’, a featured role in the hit TV series ‘Hercules’ and a lead role in the US TV series ‘Deadly Women’ playing real life convicted murderer Sheila LaBarre.
In addition to touring nationally with the Elvis to the Max Show, starring Max Pellicano, Jo was part of the Taronga Zoo Twilight Series Concerts from 2006-2009 in ‘The Doobies, Eagles & West Coast Rock Show’ featuring Barry Leef, Rick Price & Glenn Shorrick. She was invited back to Taronga in 2014 to perform in CC Entertainment’s ‘Doobies, Eagles & America’ show. More recently she’s stared in the shows ‘Hotel California’- a tribute to The Eagles, ‘Rumours’ - A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac, ‘The Princesses of Pop’, ‘The Swell Sisters- Sweethearts of the 60s’ and runs her own shows ‘The First Ladies of Soul’ & The Bond Show.
Her support shows include artists such as Brian Cadd and Russel Morris, Richard Clapton, 1927, Stylus, South African Artist Garth Taylor (Under The Influence Tour 2012).
Her performances have seen her grace international stages; The Claridges Hotel in London with Dame Edna Everage, London's legendary live music venues The Bedford and The Regal Room, with London power-show ‘The Battle of the Divas’, and as part of the London show case for Australian talent based in the UK ‘Sunday At The Apartment’ along side Australian star Tim Minchin. In New York, she performed at the city’s famous venue ‘Arlene’s Grocery’ with a star-studded band featuring Ben Butler on guitar (George Michael) and Matt Beck on Piano (Matchbox Twenty).