About Steve & JoAnn

Steve and JoAnn


Steve and his wife JoAnn are deeply respected for their river knowledge and experience, gained through personal experience and years of study, exploration and river conservation work. They are also professional musicians. JoAnn and Steve are among the few chosen to be guest speakers for American Cruise Lines as they travel the river from New Orleans to St Paul. This charismatic couple shares their love and knowledge of the river through lectures, seminars and music. Their talks and musical programs are perfect for any group that loves to learn: historical societies, senior groups, church groups, libraries.

Their talks are informative, researched and entertaining. Audiences will learn a great deal but will be able to chuckle a bit. They are both comfortable and charismatic speakers.



Steve and JoAnn have both firsthand river experience and as well as years of river study. They both grew up on the Mississippi River in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area. Their childhoods were spent on the Mississippi River, exploring its wildlife filled backwaters, camping, canoeing, birding, hunting, fishing, waterskiing, skating, cross-country skiing and enjoying the river. They both developed a passion and love for the river that has only increased with time. 

Although they both grew up on the backwaters of the Mississippi, three doors apart from each other they did not meet until 2012. Their passion for the river and music was a natural mix. They married and now live in St Paul, Minnesota. It is their joy and mission to share their knowledge of the Mississippi River.

Steve and JoAnn are members of many river organizations, including the Brice Prairie Conservation Club, a renowned organization which works on river conservation through projects like wooduck nesting and purple loosestrife eradication. They consider themselves river rats and are constantly educating themselves about the Mississippi River. 



Both are also talented and well regarded musicians. Steve received his masters degree in vocal music from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. With over 40 opera roles to his credit, he spent 20 years singing opera and musical theater in the New York area. The Mississippi River and his roots called him home in 2010, and he discovered his passion for photographing and filming the Mississippi. He turned his passion into his popular show, Our Mighty Mississippi, a magical journey of song, storytelling and visual imagery celebrating America’s greatest river. He has sung with Minnesota Opera, the Metropolitan Symphony, Minnesota Chorale and is the bass soloist at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.

JoAnn is a highly regarded jazz pianist. She and her bassist are in their eighth season of Jazz in The Lobby Bar at the elegant Saint Paul Hotel. She received a double degree, in classical piano performance and biology (with studies in ornithology), from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her most recent CD is on the top ten lists at many radio stations and is receiving international attention.

Steve and JoAnn also do many musical shows together. 


Steve is a highly regarded wildlife photographer and filmmaker. He loves to photograph the river and all of its wildlife. His idea of an ideal morning is hunching in a blind so he can get the most beautiful sunrise shots of migrating birds! His pictures hang on many living room walls and they are the foundation for his Our Mighty Mississippi show.


New Lecture!

The Mississippi River and The Civil War