Jo Burke, Washboard Jo, a life long music fan and Kansas City native, was raised in Iowa. When she was in High School she joined The Nee Hi's, an 80 piece, all female drum and bugle corps from Clinton Iowa, anchoring the percussion line and marching in hundreds of parades and competitions.
Her percussion instructor Ramiro Martinez became a major, life long influence in Jo's life. Her rhythm and love for music, including Blues, Funk and Zydeco styles developed at an early age but it wasn't until the fall of 2000, that this dedication during her youth, including countless hours spent learning rudimentary skills, paid off. While attending a concert at Kansas City's legendary Grand Emporium, Jo Burke was chosen from the audience and given what seemed to her at the time, a silly instrument. A washboard was placed upon her chest. She hasn't put it down since, as mild mannered Jo Burke transformed into
She has captivated audiences with her endless energy and versatile playing styles, bridging genres like Blues, Jazz, Funk, Zydeco, Gospel, Bluegrass, Reggae, Rock and Roll, and R&B. Now Jo Burke is a full percussionist, songwriter, poet, singer, and overall entertainer. She visual as well as musical. During her shows she can be seen in the audience, sharing her washboard as someone shared a washboard with her back in the year 2000. She can be seen sharing stages with the top national and regional bands in the USA and the world, along with her own shows with Washboard Jo and the Soapsuds and
Poodle and the Pitbulls.
Eliminating the scourge of domestic violence has become a mission for Ms. Burke. A New Dawn is Jo's efforts to educate and illuminate women, children and society about this condition that destroys the lives of perpetrators and victims alike.
Jo always wants to thank and show unbound appreciation to all of you for your love, support and interest in her passions, music and helping people surviving domestic violence. Her wish is that all of you enjoy her music as much as she enjoys sharing it with you. As Jo says, "Music is the next
best thing to God."