“Jo Lawry numbers among our favorite discoveries of the past year.”

– Time Out New York

“She has a gift for the music of words, a feel for the stories they tell and an instinct for how to drape a lyric elegantly across a vivid melody… Lawry, effervescent and riveting, imbued her singing with a freedom.”

Sydney Morning Morning Herald

“Singer of dazzling self-possession.”  

– New York Times

Jo grew up on an almond farm in South Australia and, after a brief flirtation with operatic study, began her formal instruction in jazz.  She was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to study her Masters Degree in New York, has worked with Carnegie Hall as a featured artist in their ‘Musical Connections’ program, and served as Artist-in-Residence at the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. In 2016 Jo earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance from Boston’s New England Conservatory.

Jo’s debut album I Want to Be Happy was named one of the “Best CDs of the Decade” by Downbeat Magazine.  Jo is the vocalist for the Fred Hersch Pocket Orchestra, a quartet whose album, Live at Jazz Standard was released on Sunnyside Records.  Jo has also been featured as a guest on numerous modern jazz recordings; stand-outs include Dr. Lonnie Smith’s album Rise Up! and Kate McGarry’s Grammy-nominated If Less is More… Nothing is Everything.


Jo has become well-known beyond jazz circles for her work with Sting, with whom she has been touring and recording since 2009, and more recently with Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel.  In 2013, Jo was featured in the film 20 Feet From Stardom, which chronicled the lives and careers of “the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century” and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Jo lives in Brooklyn, leads her own band, and released her latest album of originals, Taking Pictures, in March 2015.