Joanna Newsom

Joanna Newsom (born January 18, 1982) is an American harpist, pianist and singer-songwriter from Nevada City, California. Newsom grew up in the small town of Nevada City, California. As a child, Newsom was not allowed to watch television or listen to the radio because she was raised by doctors who were "kind of idealists when it came to hoping they could protect us from bad influences, like violent movies, or stupid stuff". She was exposed to music from a young age. Her father played the guitar and her mother was a classically trained pianist who played the hammered dulcimer, the autoharp and conga drums. Newsom attended a Waldorf school where she studied theater and learned to memorize and recite long poems. This skill helps her to remember lyrics while on tour. At the age of five, Newsom asked her parents if she could play the harp. Her parents eventually agreed to sign her up for harp lessons, but the local harp teacher did not want to take on such a young student and suggested she learn to play the piano first. Starting at the age of four, she began playing the piano and later the harp, which she "loved from the first lesson onward.


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