JOANIE MADDEN is the Grammy Award winning whistle and flute player who has been the leader of Cherish the Ladies since its inception. Born in New York of Irish parents, she is the second oldest of seven children raised in a musical household; her mother Helen, a dancer of traditional sets hails from Miltown Malbay, County Clare and her father Joe, an All-Ireland Champion on the accordion, comes from Portumna in East Galway.
Joanie received her musical training early in life listening to her father and his friends play music at family gatherings and social events. She began taking lessons from Jack Coen, and within a few short years she had won both the world Championship on the concert flute and whistle. During that time, Joanie also became the first American to win the coveted Senior All-Ireland Championship on the whistle.
Throughout her stellar and luminous career, she has amassed a plethora of awards and citations to her credit including; the youngest member inducted into the Irish-American Musicians Hall of Fame, voted twice as one of the Top 100 Irish Americans in the Country by Irish America Magazine, recipient of the Wild Geese Award, named the top traditional musician of the year by the Irish Echo Newspaper, and recently she became the youngest person – and only the second female to be inducted into the Comhaltas Traditional Musicians hall of fame, all for her contributions to promoting and preserving Irish culture in America.
She is in constant demand as a studio musician and has performed on over a hundred albums running the gamut from Pete Seeger to Sinead O’Connor. Joanie has played on three Grammy award-winning albums and her involvement on the Hearts of Space labels’ “Celtic Twilight” CD led to a platinum album with over 1,000,000 sales. In the past years she has toured with the Eagles’ Don Henley and was also a featured soloist on the final Lord of the Rings soundtrack.
In addition to being considered a character, Joanie is also the top selling whistle player in history having sold over 500,000 albums. She has recorded three highly successful solo albums; “A Whistle on the Wind”, “Song of the Irish Whistle” and “Song of the Irish Whistle 2”.