Having spent several months in 2005 teaching, writing music, and performing on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, Jo's knowledge and understanding of the Celtic genre puts her in great demand as performer, adjudicator, and teacher across the country. "Morrison is at ease with this authentic Celtic music, and lends to it a sense of honest exuberance I find refreshing." -- The Harp Column
She frequently performs with the Celtic duo, Port Righ, featuring harp and shuttle pipe, the Highland Pipe's quieter cousin. The duo has performed concerts at locations such as An Lanntair, the Library of Congress Somerset Harp Festival, the Smithsonian, various Scottish Festivals around the United States and also in Scotland, Ireland, and Germany. Their commitment to a traditional style gives them a sound comfortable both in today's modern society and also fitting for Renaissance festivals, historic sites, and other recreationist events. Port Righ released their first recording in 2007: "Na Bi Gòrach -- Don't be Foolish".
When not performing, Jo spends her time teaching harp privately and in classes and workshops, and composing and arranging Celtic music for the Celtic harp. She is Vice-President for the Washington Area Folk Harp Society and has previously served as Benefit Coordinator for the WAFHS and the Competition Chair and Board Member for the Scottish Harp Society of America. She also teaches harp at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster,Maryland, and taught at the Ohio Scottish Arts School in 2002, the Somerset Harp Festival for several years, and at various workshops around the country. She taught on the Isle of Lewis in July of 2007.
Jo's musical gifts shine in her solo recordings. On her debut album, The Three Musics (1998), she gathers several guest instrumentalists to celebrate the different musics performed by Celtic harpers of old: the musics of mirth, sorrow, and sleep. Jo intermingles arrangements of traditional tunes with her own original compositions "to create an atmosphere that brings to mind both modern coffee shops and halls of ancient kings" (Ellen Rawson, Femmusic). Jo followed this success with the critically acclaimed A Waulking Tour of Scotland (2000), leading listeners on a musical journey "pregnant with sights and flavors of an entire country" (Tom Knapp, Rambles). Jo's Christmas offering, Christmas Gifts (2003), is a collection of carols from around the world. "These eighteen tracks contain the meaning of the season within them, and will bring joy to the heart of any listener" (Naomi de Bruyn, Linear Reflections). By Request (2004) is Jo's musical reply to the oft-posed question, "When are you going to record that tune?" Featuring well-known favorites and Celtic classics, this CD is solo harp, so there are no other instruments or vocals to distract from the sublime sound of Jo and her harp.
This year (2008) Jo expanded her recording repertoire by releasing a CD of all original music. Flights of Fantasy features tunes inspired by family, dear friends, Scotland, the Northern Lights, mountains, waterfalls, and dancing bison. Her tunes here show her commitment to traditional style and creative diversity. While most of the album is harp music, Jo has also returned to her musical roots by writing a lovely set of piano tunes which she also plays to great effect.
In addition to these albums, Jo appears on the Washington Area Folk Harp Society's live recording of their 2000 Benefit Concert, The Song of the Selkie. She is also featured on the soundtrack to the Scholastic edition of the children's book Rainbabies, recorded with John Jennings in 1999. She has published three popular collections of harp arrangements, "The Three Musics of the Celtic Harp", "The Morrison Scottish Repertoire Book", and "The Beginning Harper's Tunebook," which is rapidly becoming a standard for beginning folk harpers.
In April, 2008, Jo completed her studies and internship with the Music for Healing and Transition Program (MHTP) to become a Certified Music Practitioner. She received a scholarship from the Jan Pennington Gray Foundation to complete this program, and is now certified to provide therapeutic music at the bedside of the ill or dying.
Jo was thrilled to have been nominated for a 2008 WAMMIE as the best traditional folk instrumentalist. The WAMMIES are annual awards given by the Washington Area Music Association. Thanks to everyone who nominated Jo and voted for her.
Jo lives near Westminster, MD, with her husband Wayne and their four African Grey Parrots. She is available for any type of event, including weddings, funerals, corporate parties, anniversaries, private functions, and concerts. She gives scholarly lectures on the history, folklore, and music of the Celtic harp. She also gives Celtic harp lessons both privately and at workshops. For bookings, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-875-0855.
"Morrison is at ease with this authentic Celtic music, and lends to it a sense of honest exuberance I find refreshing." The Harp Column
"Jo gets more out of the harp than should be possible." Green Man Review