Joanie Collins has been playing the violin and piano since she was very young. The music she plays is as diverse as her talents. She has performed as concert mistress with the Maui Symphony Orchestra at the Manele Bay Hotel as well as on her sizzling white five string electric violin all over the Hawaiian islands. She switches between keyboards, bass, ukulele and violin onstage seamlessly, and her range of musical styles is broad - Hawaiian to Irish, Reggae to Jazz, and Country to Classical, Calypso, Rock and Blues to Cajun!
Joanie founded P.A.C.E.S., the Performing Arts and Cultural Exchange Studios on the Big Island of Hawaii, opening the doors in 1995. She was one of the founding members of the Kona Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Ken Staton, and was the first violinist of the String Beings, P.A.C.E.S.’s resident string quartet.
She is also a recording artist who has recorded tracks for other recording artists, as well as recording violin, bass, keyboards, and vocals on Mango’s CDs. She’s often called upon to lay down some Celtic or country fiddling for various musical recording projects.
You may have seen her performing regularly with the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra, the Magic Strings, String Be’ings, and Volcano Chamber Players, the Kona Chamber Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony, Maui Symphony, the Salt Lake City Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Kona, and the Channel Island Chamber Orchestra in the classical genre, and while in Salt Lake City she played mallets and percussion in the Murray Concert band! She has performed with Hawaiians Unlimited, Island Rhapsody, the Hualalai Girls, Unkle Monkey and of course Mango! - playing Hawaiian music. Then in California with The Bomb in SB, the Montecito Jazz Project, Yummy! Jazz, and the Ventura Jazz Collective, the 20's band Palace Hot Jass Society, Shenanigans Irish Band, and the all woman rock and roll band, Tsunami!, in the pop/rock arena. More recently she can be seen with Fuego, a salsa band, Kona Rogues, a Celtic Rock group, jamming with Henry Kapono, and she was a frequent player with Project Monday, a jazz fusion band, at JazzMinds in Honolulu. Joanie has had the privilege of performing with great entertainers such as Henry Kapono, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick, Kekuhi Kanahele, Kealii Reichel, and Eugene Fodor.
Moving to Kona in 1993, she taught and performed ballet and jazz for West Hawaii Dance with her husband James Dunne, and taught the strings program at the Lokahi Waldorf School in Kealakekua in 1995, with twenty children on the violin. She also taught violin, piano, and ballet at P.A.C.E.S. and was the artistic director from 1995 until 2001, when she left the islands to play at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In Santa Barbara she started and directed the ukulele and violin programs at Girls, Inc. through JAMS. Joanie was a founder of the Santa Barbara Ukulele Club, with Paul Halula in 2006. In 2007 Joanie created a jazz combo featuring the electric violin for the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura. Returning to Kona in 2011, Joanie started a new band - Lilikoi Jam, which performs in both Hawaii and California. It is a collection of versatile and multi talented musicians who play music of all flavors; Hawaiian, Jazz, Reggae, Blues and Rock, with an infusion of Latin and Calypso rhythms, - music off the beaten path, fun and exciting!