Go to Content
Columbia College Chicago
Joan Hammel

Joan Hammel

Joan Hammel is a professional entertainer performing live as well as appearing in commercials, on television, in films, and on radio.

Joan has been nominated five times for Entertainer of the Year by the Chicago Music Awards. She is a multi year winner of the ASCAPLUS Writer’s Award and the YMCA of Lake County Women of Achievement Award winner in the Arts category. The Robert M. MacNamara Foundation awarded her one of its residencies, the only one ever awarded to a singer/songwriter.

Her CD entitled joanland was on the Grammy Award Nominations Ballot and Joan was also the vocalist on the recording of Oh Lady Di for the late Princess of Wales benefiting her Foundation and charities. The song America, recorded after 9-11, is a part of New York's National 911 Memorial Artist Registry and was chosen for the first Flight 93 National Memorial website in California. The song also led to Joan being chosen by Washington for a nine-day USO tour to entertain the troops including New Year’s Eve. Other performance highlights include the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and working all around the globe in places like the Caribbean and Las Vegas. She has shared billing with entertainers like Buddy Rich, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, the Chi-Lites, the Cryan’ Shames, Shirley King, Johnny Frigo, Frank Mantooth, Rare Earth, James Moody and the Second City Comedy Troupe. She has sung at Holy Name Cathedral many times and performed a concert as a part of acclaimed cellist Yo Yo Ma’s yearlong Silk Road project in Chicago.

The film Last Day in Chicago, in which she had a starring role, won its division of the Chicago International Film Festival. It’s Fun to be Fit!, a television program she worked on at CBS-TV Chicago, won an Emmy for Best Children’s Program.

She hosted and produced The Midday Show at ABC Radio affiliate WKRS, winning the Lake Country Women’s Coalition’s Woman in Communications Award and the Illinois’ Public Health Association Media Award. She also hosted a show for Wauk Town Radio averaging over a million hits per month. She has done shows with James Brown, Steve Allen, Richard Marx, Alan Thicke, Bart Starr, Jim Otto, Astronaut Jim Lovell, chef Jacques Pepin, Elektra Records founder Jack Holzman, Jennifer O’Neil, Livingston Taylor, Robert Guillaume, Oak Ridge Boy Joe Bonsall, Statler Brothers’ Don Reid, Dick Van Patten, Janis Joplin guitarist Sam Andrew, and Hemingway’s travel companion, A.E. Hotchner, among others.

She served on the Board of Governors in Chicago for the GRAMMY Awards for about a dozen years, and was a part of the first female President/Vice President team in Academy history. She served for over ten years as Trustee and then President for Lake County Discovery Museum Board. She is the current President of the Columbia College Alumni Association.