Folk, pop, standards, Eastern European music
Ear training & pitch
Relaxation & healing
Performance skills
Chest-voice technique
Healthy singing habits
Breath support & projection
Confidence building
Harmony & ensemble skills
Songwriting guidance
I have been a singer all my life. I come from a musical family that sang around the piano and as a young girl, I marveled at my mother’s ability to come up with spontaneous and beautiful vocal harmonies. I started my singing career in the church choir, and then moved on to musical theater, women’s glee club, swing choir and the eventual discovery of the powerful and gorgeous open-voice techniques of traditional Balkan singing. I also love pop, folk, bluegrass, show tunes,
R & B, Cajun and other musical styles. 
Vocal Lessons
I have been a semi-professional vocalist for the past 30 years and a voice teacher for the past 15. Singing sustains me and makes me feel truly alive. I love helping students discover and explore their voices, become comfortable with their unique sound, confront fears around singing, hone their technique, sing in tune, harmonize, prepare for auditions and performances, advance their songwriting skills, and utilize breathing and singing for relaxation and healing. I welcome beginners to advanced singers and especially enjoy teaching pairs or groups.

Piano Lessons

Music literacy & sight-reading
Relaxation & therapy
Technique (posture, wrist position, finger shape)
Practice methods
Theory (scales, chords, intervals)
Performance skills
Composition assistance
I welcome students of all levels who want to develop their skills at the piano. I enjoy working with people who are new to the instrument or to music in general, and with those coming back to piano after a hiatus. I work with students striving to become better sight-readers, improve their technique and develop good practice habits. I facilitate freedom with improvisation, chord progressions and vocal accompaniment, and encourage piano playing as a form of relaxation and therapy. I also compose music and enjoy aiding students in this process.
Piano Lessons
Above all, my goal is to create a personal, engaging, joyful and relaxed yet challenging experience for students, so they feel inspired to sit down at the piano and develop a love relationship with the music they are creating.

top 10 Piano Teacher


Individual and Group Classes
Traditional vocal music from the Balkans and Eastern Europe has been a passion of mine for nearly three decades. I performed with the internationally acclaimed Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble for more than 20 years, serving as Music Director for 10 of those years. I currently perform as a vocalist/accordionist with two ensembles: Janam (Balkan & American Roots Fusion) and True Life Trio (Bulgaria to the Bayou).
Balkan Singing Classes
I love sharing my passion for this amazingly deep and diverse vocal music. I teach individual lessons and facilitate pairs or groups of singers interested in delving into the unique harmonies and vocal stylings of folk music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.


True Life Trio

true life trioBulgaria to the Bayou
Vocalist, accordionist

True Life Trio performs riveting vocal harmonies from Eastern Europe, America & beyond and features veteran vocalists from legendary Bay Area groups Kitka and Brass Menazeri. This innovative trio explores the creative possibilities of cross-fertilization of different traditions with unlikely timbres connecting Bulgaria to the Bayou. TLT is Leslie Bonnett, fiddle & voice; Briget Boyle, guitar & voice; and Juliana Graffagna, accordion & voice.


Home (2012)
Like Never & Like Always (2016)

Studio Vocals

Over the years, I have performed on numerous independent film & documentary soundtracks, as well as recording background vocals for local artists and vocal samples for sound production. Please contact me if you are interested in using my voice for your studio project.

Choral Teaching & Musical Training Highlights

Group Piano Instructor & Program Creator
M.U.S.E., 2009-2016

Choral Director
Polyphonia Girls Choir, 2009-2010

Music Director and Vocalist
Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, 1988-2009

Orff-Schulwerk Certification
San Francisco Orff Course, 2009

Choral Director
Oakland Youth Chorus, 2006-2008

San Francisco Conservatory of Music Adult Extension Program, 2006


JanamBalkan & American Roots Fusion
Founder, vocalist, accordionist

Fusing funky Balkan rhythms, gritty Appalachian ballads, arresting vocal harmonies and enchanting acoustic textures, Janam creates a one-of-kind musical experience. Janam unites some of the Bay Area's most playful and imaginative devotees of southern Balkan and American roots music who weave together folk tunes and their own colorful compositions and take their audience on a labyrinthine musical ride. Janam features Dan Auvil on percussion and voice, Tom Farris on laouto and guitar, Juliana Graffagna on voice and accordion, Gari Hegedus on oud, saz, mandocello and mandolin, and Shira Kammen on violin and voice.


Janam (2010)
The Space Between (2014)
Venus Landing (2020)


email: julianagraffagna@gmail.com

phone: (510) 435-7844