Joanne Hogg

Joanne's Gear Page > Co-founder, songwriter, musician Iona / 1989-present
Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard Vocals / Piano / Keyboard
Photos by Lutz Diehl, Monica Duffels, Henk Oosting (, Dave Bainbridge, Paul Heffer, Joop van der Elst & Mike Anders
J oanne was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland shortly after her parents returned from India where they had worked as missionaries for 13 years. She has 5 siblings, all health care professionals and all with musical tendencies, nurtured in a home environment that was rarely without the sound of music being played or sung. Joanne started piano lessons at the age of 10 and continued for four years until it became difficult to find piano teachers in the rural area where they lived. Her early childhood was lived in the County Antrim town of Randalstown, and for the remainder of her school and university years up until she married in 1985, the town of Magherafelt, County Derry, was her home.

Joanne began attending Queen's University Belfast to study medicine in 1981. After her third year at Queen's, she received information through the post about a summer music and arts event in DeBron, Holland called Christian Artists which she thought would be an interesting experience, little did she know it was going to change her life! When Joanne arrived in Holland, she discovered that unknown to her, someone had entered her into the talent evaluation session.

At Christian Artists, she came into contact with well known contemporary Christian musician Adrian Snell who encouraged her and asked her to send him a demo tape which she later did. Joanne was also heard singing at the talent evaluation by a staff worker for Youth For Christ (YFC), Denmark who immediately invited her to work with them for a year doing schools ministry work. Once back in Ireland she persuaded the Dean of the faculty to allow her to take an unconventional "year out" and work with (YFC) in Denmark. During the school term months of September to June, she traveled throughout the country visiting schools and colleges giving solo concerts and talking to students about music, faith, and the cultural aspects of life as a student in the politically charged environment of Northern Ireland. Too much talking and singing resulted in Joanne developing nodules on her vocal chords and the prospect of singing as a career looked highly unlikely.

After returning to Northern Ireland in the summer of 1985, Joanne married Stephen and returned to university to complete her medical degree. In early 1986 Adrian Snell, hugely impressed by the demo Jo had given him months earlier, invited her to record a solo vocal track on his landmark 'Alpha and Omega' project. As a result of her involvement with this, Joanne was introduced to Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald who also met during the recording of the same album. Several months after the release of 'Alpha and Omega' Adrian asked Jo to join the Swiss leg of the 'A & O' tour on which she sang her solo track and also played an opening set of her own songs. Dave and David were also on the tour with Adrian and all got on very well together.

She graduated from university in 1987 and worked as a junior doctor in the Belfast City Hospital to complete her registration. Six months into the job, Joanne became ill and was unable to work for 7 months. She recovered sufficiently to resume her post and completed her registration, but once that was achieved, she took medical advice not to continue in full time work for the remainder of that year. During this period of convalescence, she was contacted by Dave Bainbridge and David Fitzgerald who were beginning to think about the possibility of forming a band. They felt that Joanne, as both a vocalist, musician and writer, would work well with the instrumental duo. In 1989 (the band) began their long history and is now in it's 22nd year.

During this time Joanne has sung with throughout Europe, and in the USA and Japan. The band has just released their seventh studio recording, a double album entitled "Another Realm". They have also produced several live recordings.

Joanne's voice has been featured on many other Christian albums, including several New Irish Hymns recordings (with Clannad's Moya Brennan) and the Celtic Expressions series, and has been heard by millions across the world singing on the soundtrack for a Sony Playstation game called "Xenogears"! She has sung on numerous television broadcasts throughout the past 15 years, including many appearances on BBC's "Songs of Praise" programme. Her most recent TV performance was on BBC Northern Ireland's series entitled "My Wee World" which included contributions from the children of primary schools across the province, including Jo's two boys Isaac and Ethan and their classmates. The song featured on the programme was entitled "Into Your Dreams", from Jo's album "Raphael's Journey" (see later notes).

Joanne's first solo album release was in 1999, entitled "Looking Into Light" (Later re-released as 'Celtic Hymns - Looking into Light'). This project was inspired by a suggestion made by Joanne's father to record an album of hymns. It was only after the sudden death of her mother in February 1997 that she felt the urge to begin working on tracks for the album that would be dedicated to her father. Some of the hymns selected had strong associations with her family's past, while some were chosen for their Celtic melodic qualities as well as their powerful lyrics. Joanne also selected some lesser known hymn lyrics and wrote original melodies to sing them to. The album featured contributions from members of Iona, past and present, from Joanne's three sisters, and also atmospheric sounds recorded in a sea cave in Donegal. The album was beautifully produced by Dave Bainbridge and is currently available as part of a double box set from Kingsway Music.

In 2001, after many years of waiting, Joanne and Stephen had their first child, Isaac. A year and a half later his brother Ethan was born. Busy home life, the death of her father after a prolonged illness, and also major surgery for Joanne meant that the band's activity was restricted during the next few years, although it didn't completely grind to a halt. produced two more excellent albums, "Open Sky" and "The Circling Hour", but things lost momentum for a variety of reasons. Not surprisingly, as a mother, Joanne began considering the idea of recording a lullaby project. After experiencing the early years of parenting however, she came to the conclusion that exhausted, stressed out adults were in greater need of "lullabies" than most kids are. In 2006, Joanne together with Frank Van Essen as producer, began work on a project to create and record music that would convey a sense of peace, beauty and comfort and enable listeners to rest and maybe even to fall asleep. In 2008, "Raphael's Journey" was released as a download only, but was sadly under-promoted with only a few hundred sales. In 2010, CD's of the album were finally manufactured and are now available from Iona's website and at gigs. The profits from this recording will be donated to several organisations that seek to alleviate the suffering of children in extreme poverty.

Also in 2008, Joanne recorded and released an album called "Personal" through Kingsway Music. As the title suggests, the album is a reflective consideration of her own spiritual journey, and is intimate, worshipful and acoustic in style. It was recorded in Nashville in three days and produced by John Hartley and Derri Dogherty. It is very different in style to and shows another side to Joanne as a singer and songwriter. The album features the distinctive drumming and percussion playing of past member Terl Bryant. This album is currently available form Kingsway Music as part of a double box set together with "Looking Into Light" (1999).

Now with a renewed vision, momentum and enthusiasm, Joanne continues to record and tour with and is an active member of Causeway Coast Vineyard church in Coleraine, where she has just completed a 9 month course in their Encounter School of Mission.

Jo has been voted 'Best Female Vocalist' by the 'Classic Rock Society' on three occasions.


"Joanne Hogg is possessed of a beautiful voice somewhere between Maire Brennan and Julianne Regan ... which sends shivers down the spine."
Rock 'n Reel

"Joanne Hogg's voice in particular is spectacular."
Q Magazine

"Hogg's amazing, ethereal voice supported by incredible musicianship carries her gifts without overpowering them ... 'Looking into Light' is a treasure not to be missed."

"The unique, angelic and crystal clear voice of Joanne Hogg....possibly without equal among contemporary rock vocalists."
Metal Hammer (Poland)
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23rd February 2018

Recording drums and bass on some new songs with Terl Bryant and Phil Barker. Also a visual preview for you of the MAP Project artwork for Part 1.
Pre ordering will be ready soon!
Always so good to work with these great friends. We’ve been reminiscing on our long history making music, Iona tours , so many memories.........

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29th January 2018

MAP Project update. Also coming up in 2018....Japan!
I've been invited to Tokyo in April to perform the Xenogears soundtrack songs (recorded 20 years ago!) at 4 concerts. I've also been asked by their composer, to record some new vocal material while I'm in Tokyo.
You just never know what a year may bring !
PS - here’s a link to the song I mentioned in the video -

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2nd January 2018

The song " When Kindness Comes" was originally recorded as a demo in 2014 when I (Jo) was recording a track for Uncountable Stars - it was an unedited performance of the song, played on a concert grand piano.

At the end of 2016, while recording MAP Project songs, I decided to finish a version of the song with upright bass and flugelhorn tracked to the original demo. Here is this new recording as a soundtrack to the experiences of many of the refugees I've encountered in 2017.

At the start of the year I read the words of Isaiah 21.14-15 ...." haul water to the thirsty, greet fugitives with bread. Show hospitality to those fleeing the horrors of war in the desert."

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26th December 2017

And very impromptu.
Happy ChristmasπŸ™

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25th December 2017

But not the usual Christmas music. More of a CELTIC CHRISTMAS!
I thought you'd enjoy a little clip from our Christmas Eve by the fireside at home in Ireland. Our neighbours , the Mooney family played hours of traditional Irish music for us and some of our neighbours. This was one of my favourite moments and I'll share some more over the holidays.
Jo wishing you a very Happy Christmas.

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21st December 2017

A SMALL CHRISTMAS GIFT... For all those who have contributed to my Indiegogo campaign or has shown an interest in my music. Be blessed & have a wonderful Christmas time! Frank

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13th December 2017

It's Zero degrees at Zerohour studio. Recording vocals on Good Samaritan.
This is the song I wrote just after my first trip out to the refugee camps. Asking myself some big questions. Think we're done with the recording aspect of Part 1 πŸ‘.

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7th December 2017

THE MAP PROJECT .... and more.
I know..... it's been ages, and the MAP Project Part 1 still isn't finished. But the best folk are always busy,so it takes time to get things done. I'd hoped for a pre Christmas release , but I don't think I'll quite make it! Just some vocals to do and then the last two of six songs will be ready for mixing. Last night I got to track the last of the cello parts with the wonderful Gwyneth Reid. Soon...... it will be ready πŸ‘πŸ™. ( and no.... I've not taken up electric! Just a prop to hide the mess my dinner made on my jersey😱). Keep an eye out for a bit of live singing pre Christmas 🎢

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4th November 2017

But still, "a place you could write or paint pictures, and dream that the troubles will end....."
It's been a lovely week here in Portugal with family, on half term hols. It's a long way from the plight of so many in refugee camps , but that's very much in my mind and still demands a response from me.
I travel home today to prepare for our church women's conference where I'll have the opportunity to lead worship and to share some of the MAP project songs and some new songs inspired by my recent experiences. It's been a long journey creating the MAP , but I hope to have Part 1 ready to release before Christmas. πŸ™.

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12th November 2017

This is Moria camp for refugees on Lesbos island. These families fled from their home city of Deir es Zor in Syria just weeks ago when heavy bombing destroyed their neighbourhood, killing relatives and friends. They survived a treacherous sea crossing from Turkey to Lesbos in inflatable boats , and were then brought to this camp 10 days ago. There are now close to 6000 refugees here, in a facility that was originally a prison for 1200. Hundreds more arrive every week. There is nowhere for them to go from here. Such great need and so little help...... we cannot say "We didn't know!".

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15th October 2017

From one extreme to another ......
This time tomorrow I'll be on my way with Karen to the Greek island of Lesvos, still one of the main ports of entry for refugees into Europe. Conditions in the Moria camp close to the main port are described as similar to concentration camps. We'd greatly appreciate your prayers during the next 5 days as we attempt to assess things and figure out a way to bring teams of people out to do something to help. I'll keep you posted.

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26th September 2017

All these things I saw in one day. Yes, there is so much global chaos, human suffering and catastrophic events taking place on our planet and it feels overwhelming. I'm so thankful for this day and for a place where I could dream, write, refresh, and then, refocus. We need to find a way to release the hope and wisdom of God in our world , but we can't do it in our own strength. In a few weeks , my view will have changed dramatically. There will be a sea of refugees and an atmosphere of despair and if all we carried were a couple of suitcases of medical supplies, it would be overwhelming......but , thankfully we carry much more; the compassionate, loving presence of our God of grace. May we be filled with faith for the impossible. πŸ™

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6th September 2017

Joining me ( Jo) in the old Crumlin Road jail , Belfast, on Friday 8 th for A21's ( anti -trafficking org) event are dream band Tre Sheppard/guitar, Graeme Flowers /horns, Gwyneth Reid/cello and Stu Reid/drums , perc. Also playing will be trad band Na Leanai 😁🎢. If your around, we'd love to see ya there.

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31st August 2017

Frank's campaign is going incredibly well! At 84% now with 10 days to go... Still time to get alongside and become a part of this amazing musical journey.

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21st August 2017

"Oh, have you seen the clouds?
Have you observed the skies?? "
These places and landscapes remind me of so many of our Iona songs.

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18th August 2017

Spending a bit of time in the wilds of the north coast of Ireland writing some worship songs. The vibe is Celtic. Must be that St Colmkille connection.

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9th August 2017

We are excited to announce that Iona's drummer/violinist Frank van Essen is currently working on an instrumental solo album, in collaboration with Dave Bainbridge, Troy Donockley and many other great musicians. Please check out his Indiegogo page and get involved!
Please feel free to share this post!

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13th July 2017

It's that time of year again for some family time in the place that has inspired so many Iona songs .....Edge of the World, Irish Day, Wave after Wave, Kell's theme, Friendships Door, Vision Of Naran, Beyond These Shores,..... probably a few more. It still inspires πŸŽΆπŸ™.....

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29th June 2017

Hi folks. Collected my Emerald guitar today and of course had to sing a wee song. The guitars first trip abroad will hopefully be to refugee camps in either Turkey or Lebanon in October. Lots of time to practise πŸ‘

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6th July 2017

A quick visit but no PEAKS to climb this time. And according to National Geographic, Donegal is the place to see ,worldwide ,in 2017!
Thankyou again to all of you who supported the 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS fundraiser for SyriAid πŸ˜„. A team of folk ( individually self funded) are heading out to camps this weekend for two weeks of aid work assisting various projects.

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6th July 2017

Here are some pics from my final mountain hike. 23 hikers in total went up one or more of the mountains with 6 of us completing the 3 hikes. Thankyou so much to everyone who's donated towards SyriAid's effort to support refugees in crisis. Donations can still be made here

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3rd June 2017

Here's today's story in pictures. Thankfully all 13 of today's team made it to the top and down safely despite the rain and treacherous conditions in places. Thankyou so much for your support.

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3rd June 2017

SyriAid team set off last night to climb our first peak. It's a long hike up from sea level but everyone made it up and down with no falls or injuries. This morning we'll set off for Donegal to climb Mt Errigal.
Thankyou so much to all of you who are following and supporting this fundraising challenge.

( for donations)

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2nd June 2017

TODAY WE START 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS fundraiser......
It has rained for 24 hours prior to us starting our first hike, but even if it's a bit muddy and we get a bit wet, we still won't be able to imagine what millions of refugees have been forced to experience.
Let's not forget them.

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28th June 2017

In 48 hours we hope to be at the top of our first mountain in the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge. Thankyou so much to all who've already supported our efforts to help Syrian refugees in crisis.

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21st May 2017

I realise for most of you seeing this, you're a long way from here on our North Coast.
I just thought you'd like to see the pics πŸ˜„
This is the Giants Causeway and I've been coming here frequently in the last two weeks after a long absence, to get in some training for the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge. If you are close and would like to join us for a hike on any of the days 2-4 th June, then go to
If you'd like to support with a donation you can do that here

Thankyou 😁

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17th May 2017

Last night a few of us put in some step training for the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge. What a beautiful evening. πŸ™ we get such weather 2-4 th June !
If you'd like to support our effort you can here

Thanking you.

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13th May 2017

Some scenes from one of the refugee camps. It's been one year since these folk were evacuated from a large camp at Idomeni near the Macedonian border. Some families have been refugees in camps for 4 years in total. Hundreds are still arriving on Greek islands every week.

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12th May 2017

Guitar on my back, camera in my bag, returning to Softex and Sinatex refugee camps in Thessaloniki. Just five of us for a short trip of 4 days to interview and film the stories of some of the families we've connected with for a media exhibition later this month. It's been one year since these families were evacuated by the military from their campsite near the Macedonian border at Idomeni and moved to smaller industrial sites in Thessaloniki. It's been a long time in limbo.....

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7th May 2017

Getting in some preparation hiking for the SyriAid 3 PEAKS IN 3 DAYS challenge June 2-4 th.
1. Slieve Donard Co. Down
2. Mount Errigal Donegal
3.Muckish Mountain Donegal

Join us if you're free. Or maybe contribute to the funding 😁

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