JoJo Smith

JoJo Smith

JoJo Smith aka the ‘‘Mistress of Groove’’ is a committed lifelong musician who began performing professionally as a teen in her native New Zealand.

Since making the move to Australia in the late 70s, JoJo has earned a reputation as one of the country’s best known and respected singers with a fan base that includes Australia’s queen of soul Renee Geyer and former Daddy Cool guitarist Ross Hannaford.

‘‘Music is in my blood,’’ JoJo said, who began writing her own material at an early age after being inspired by soul acts such as the Four Tops, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder and Dinah Ross.

‘‘I was very young when I began writing. Over the last 20 years or so I have placed a lot of creative energy into the song-writing process, with a great emphasis on the arrangements, thinking through what I want to convey and in the actual composition.’’ Jo Jo’s live show combines her own unique interpretations of material from the likes of Leonard Cohen, Etta James and Sam Cooke, with superlative original compositions.

Legendary radio announcer Billy Pinell is also fan.

‘‘(She has) an elastic voice demure one minute, tough and decisive the next and a technique that’s in perfect synch with the numerous A-list musicians she has been associated with throughout her career,’’ he said.

‘‘She has a special stage presence that special singers possess. No histrionics, just a palatable connection with audience and musicians.

‘‘Listen to JoJo’s recording, go and see her in performance, experience the artistry of this exceptional woman.’’

In his review of the record Live at the Blue Birdy, Rooster McBlurta had this to say of Jo Jo’s song writing expertise: ‘‘JoJo writes brilliant songs that sit alongside the greats like half siblings. JoJo appears to have a true love and understanding of the world and people in it and her music comes across as joyous and fun.’’