Carissa Woolf – 1851 Staff
Sweet, soulful, and sassy are three words that describe Joanna Burns. The 28-year-old singer/songwriter from New Jersey visited campus to share her music, stories, and sound with the community. She gave a concert in the Campus Center to an enthusiastic crowd of students.
Burns is a piano pop singer/ songwriter who grew up teaching herself how to play the piano to renditions of film scores and pop songs. Eventually, she added in professional training to give her the extra skills that she needed to be as talented as she is today.
Her influences include Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Rufus Wainwright, and Fiona Apple, but she brings her own flair to the table.
On May 1, 2011, Burns released her third album, “The Green Year,” on which she played both the piano and guitar and worked with the horn and string sections. In addition, Burns worked with producing the album.
During her performance at Lasell, Burns showcased the skills that she proved were powerful on the album. She was a delightful performer who made the event inviting and fun.
The evening started off with a few of her own songs, a crowd favorite being “For You.” She mixed in some fan favorites, such as a soulful rendition of “Who’s Loving You” by The Jackson 5 that shows off Burns amazing range and vocal ability.
Later, she gave a back-story about a song she recorded with another artist, Ernie Halter. She explained how she was so excited to record with him and when she sang the song, the crowd appeared speechless.
The night continued with Burns sharing her music, including “January” and “Us”. But the moment that really made her stand out from the other artists that have performed at Lasell was her 90’s mash-up. She sang everything from Mariah Carey, to Christina Aguilera, and did a wonderful rendition of Whitney Houston songs.
“I love Stevie Wonder. I used to listen to a bunch of Mariah Carey back in the day,” said Burns when asked about her inspirations for her songs.
Burns stands out from the crowd; she’s managed to write her own music, perform all over the country, and she’s even opened for Hanson. The crowd enjoyed her performance, and needless to say, Burns should return and perform at Lasell.