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Joan As Police Woman

In 2016 Joan had the pleasure of subbing for Guy Garvey, of the band Elbow, on his BBC 6Music show, Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour. In 2017, she and pianist, Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), co-wrote the film score for Permission, directed by Brian Crano.

Born in Maine, and raised with her brother in Connecticut by adoptive parents, Joan Wasser began studying violin in elementary school. She went on to study classical violin at Boston University, and was drawn to new compositions written for smaller ensembles. She started pushing the boundaries on her violin, and with a head full of wild dark hair with a white streak up the middle, she performed regularly with local punk bands.

Joan moved to New York in 1994 and began working as a session musician, playing her violin across every genre from pop, Haitian, new classical and R&B. She became a member of Anohni’s ensemble (formerly Antony and the Johnsons) and recorded I Am A Bird Now.

In 2002, Joan As Police Woman was born, an homage to Angie Dickinson’s 1970s cop show. Joan As Police Woman began touring with Rufus Wainwright for his Want One and Want Two albums, playing in his band and as his opening act.

Joan's first record, Real Life, earned the band “Best Rock and Pop Album,” at the Independent Music Awards. Her second album, To Survive, was chosen in 2008, as one of Q Magazine’s, “Albums of the Year.”

Similar praise was heaped on subsequent albums, 2011’s The Deep Field, 2014’s The Classic and perhaps her most rapturously received album to date, 2018’s Damned Devotion.

On being a musician, Joan said, “Music has saved my life. It’s not something I can even choose or not choose, it’s just what it is.”

Alongside consistent touring and album making, she says ‘yes' to almost every project or collaboration she is offered, noting, “I just want to be making music all the time.” This has led to a large and diverse list of co-collaborators: Tony Allen, Damon Albarn, Lou Reed, Beck, Afel Bocoum, Meshell Ndegeocello, Toshi Reagon, David Sylvian, Benjamin Lazar Davis, Sparklehorse, Laurie Anderson, Sufjan Stevens, John Cale, Aldous Harding, Woodkid, Justin Vivian Bond, RZA, Norah Jones, Lau, Doveman, Rufus Wainwright and Daniel Johnston.

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