Joanna Espeut (Joanna Marie) Recalls Her Introduction to Reggae Music

Joanna Espeut (Joanna Marie) Recalls Her Intro to Reggae Music

Joanna Marie

by Howard Campbell

[SOUTH FLORIDA] – The Paddington Terrace neighborhood in Kingston where Joanna Espeut grew up is a snapshot of Jamaican society. Distinctly upper-class, former prime minister Edward Seaga and University of the West Indies vice chancellor Rex Nettleford were among the area’s famous residents.

Known in South Florida entertainment circles as Joanna Marie, she said there is another side to her old stomping ground.

“The community was both privileged and underprivileged…It was a normal lifestyle where you experience the good and the bad, on a daily basis,” she revealed.

Joanna Marie has been a singer and publicist for over 30 years. She has worked on some of South Florida’s top events and is co-owner of Reggae Global Radio.

The Espeut family is of French origin and have been in Jamaica since 1798. They have played major roles in the country’s commercial sector.

Peter Espeut, one of her cousins, is among Jamaica’s leading environmentalists.  Suzanne Couch, another cousin, was a respected singer and businesswoman.

Music came into her life as a pre-teen.

“I went to Holy Childhood (leading Catholic high school) which was very progressive, especially with reggae music… I played with various bands. A huge learning experiencing was having the opportunity to play with various popular bands ….Ainsley Morris, Pluto Shervington, and Dennis Brown to name few,” Joanna Marie recalled.

Early Influences

Influenced by Third World, Carlene Davis and Sade, her recording career began in 1986 after moving to South Florida. Single Girl, produced by influential disc jockey Clint O’Neil, was her first song.

Joanna Marie’s only album, Simply Irresistible, was released in 1999.

“My involvement in music can be described as a dual involvement… as I am equally involved in the music and the music industry … First and foremost I am a musician, singer songwriter, producer, also involved in branding, marketing and promoting artists,” she said.


Like and Share
Posted in: Entertainment
  • Archives:

  • Categories:

  • Tags: