Ida Jo began setting herself apart long ago. A violinist since the age of 7, her childhood was filled with countless performances on three continents and awards such as the prestigious Emerson Scholarship to Interlochen Arts Camp. Ida Jo graduated college with a degree in violin performance and has since released five full-length records maintaining a consistent touring schedule in support of them. Also an avid yogini, Ida Jo continues to use her music to promote wellness. She has been published in the Huffington Post and has presented at TEDx. She was named 2013 WAMI Female Vocalist of the Year.
Ida Jo was born and raised in fertile music port of Duluth, MN. At age 6, she began begging her mother for violin lessons. Eventually giving in, Ida Jo began classical violin using the Suzuki Method. Besides her classical study she performed and placed in countless Texas style fiddle contests and spent her summers performing traditional Finnish folk music all across the globe.
Her music, led as always by her “innovative violin work and her soulful vocals” (AV Club), is expressive and groove-oriented, bearing the marks of the southern rock and folk that influenced her. (Think of artists like Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin and The Band.) “Her voice has the vibrancy of Adele with the soul of Joss Stone. It has the color of history.” (Relate Magazine) Also present are the subtlety and grace of her background in classical violin. Add to that a healthy amount of individuality and stubborn indie spirit and you begin to get an idea of her sound. “Ida Jo's voice is refined enough to conjour reflection and edgy enough to stir agitation...” (Isthmus Daily Page)
On violin, Ida Jo employs a seldom heard technique that is the combination of a folk fiddle style called "chopping" and her extensive classical training. She plays the rhythm, the harmony and sometimes even the melody at the same time. What it ends up sounding like is beyond explanation and without comparison, somewhere between an acoustic guitar and an orchestra. She is one of only a handful of violinists in the world to play in the style. It has been praised as "masterful and unexpected" (Emmie Music Magazine), "inventive yet accessible," (AV Club - Madison) and "avoiding rootsy fiddle or orchestral indie clichés" (The Isthmus).
2015 Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) Strings Instrumentalist of the Year
2015 Best of Madison - Madison Magazine
2014 Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) Folk/Americana Performer of the Year
2014 Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) Folk/Americana Song of the Year (For Better For Worse)
2013 Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) Female Vocalist of the Year
2013 Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) Folk/Americana Performer of the Year
2013 Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) Strings Instrumentalist
2013 Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) Folk/Americana Album (Uncharted)
2013 WAMI Artist of the Month (February)