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The Joann Quintana Band: A new band, a new sound originating on Whidbey Island

Author: Carolyn Tamler


Spread the lovemoreJoann Quintana is bringing a new jazz, folk rock and country blues sound to Whidbey Island.  Like so many who have come
Tom Ehrlichman, lead guitar; Kevin Voigt, bass; Joann Quintana, singer-songwriter, guitar; Thom Barkes, dobro, steel guitar
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Joann Quintana is bringing a new jazz, folk rock and country blues sound to Whidbey Island.  Like so many who have come to Whidbey, Joann has a special story to tell of how she came to live on Whidbey and what motivated her to create her new Joann Quintana Band.

Joann grew up in the Central, Illinois, and loved music from the time she was a young girl. She thrived in a musical family and played guitar and sang duets with her sister.  She took guitar lessons for 12 years and performed at recitals, but when she went to college, she left music behind her…for a while.  She also left the Midwest and moved to the west coast because as she says, “I always wanted to go west.”

She got a Masters Degree in Sociology, and she spent much of her life in the Sacramento area as a consultant in Strategic Communications.  She met her husband, Joe Quintana in Sacramento.  Joe was a political journalist.  Interestingly, Joann had read many of his stories before they ever met.  They made the move from Sacramento to Seattle after Joe was recruited to do news stories for the Seattle Times.


Their golden doodle, Mocha, was a major driving force four years ago that got them to move from Seattle to Whidbey.  “I would take Mocha to some of the accepted dog areas, and the areas seemed like dog prisons to me.  When I took her to Lincoln Park where she could swim and run, she was so happy.”  Joann looked up “Best salt water beaches for dogs” and Double Bluff came up at the top of the list.

Joann and Joe came up with Mocha for a Whidbey visit.  “Originally, we decided that Whidbey would be a nice place to retire.”  They had looked at a house they liked on Useless Bay, but it was taken off the market, so they forgot about it.  Then, the house came back on the market and they decided that Whidbey Island was more the place they wanted to live at that time….four years ago.

In Seattle, Joann had a band called Sawdust Creek that did folk and blue grass music.  She began writing songs, going to jams and open mikes, and played in other bands.  As she became more involved with her writing and playing, she realized, “I can’t live without music.”  And she began putting more energy into creating a band again.

The culmination of her efforts is the Joann Quintana Band which was formed early in 2015.  She pulled together three excellent musicians to help her create the music she loves.  Thomas Barkes, who had played base with the Sawdust Creek Band, moved to Port Townsend about the same time as Joann moved to Whidbey.  He was pleased to join Joann again and plays dobro and steel guitar.


Joann Quintana

An ad in Drewslist brought together the two other musicians, who live on Whidbey, and are now part of the band. Tom Ehrlichman plays lead guitar and Kevin Voigt is on base.  Joann plays guitar and writes most of the music the band performs.

Joann adds, “When we came together, the four of us clicked.”

One of Joann’s major goals for the band is to develop a repertoire that is 90% original music.  “I keep bringing new songs to the band.”  The band members help the songs to evolve until they become, “What the song is supposed to be.”  In addition to playing together seamlessly, the band members get along very well.  Her hope is that the Joann Quintana Band will become well-known on Whidbey, and off the island.

More information about the band, and videos of them performing, are available on


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