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Early Christmas Sale A Success!
The Pearl Foundation sale is over, and I'm enormously pleased to report that we raised a little over $14,000 in just a week! I think (I hope) that means we'll hit the $950,000 mark at the end of the year, and be able to distribute a decent amount to each scholarship we're currently funding.
The new Shopify site appears to be an across-the-board success, both for you and for my team. A few minor glitches went mostly unnoticed. (For instance, we didn't know how to mark something "out of stock" instead of "unavailable", so several people received packages with Breaking Silence a few days later than they thought.)
When we first went up, the morning of the sale, Shopify was automatically sending out notes saying "Thank you, your item has been shipped!" and we were getting confused queries like "Wow. How did you get my order to ship on a Sunday?" Given the amount of things that could have gone wrong with migrating more than 200 items from one site to another, we count ourselves lucky.
Huge kudos go to webmaster Steve Wilkison for the months he spent preparing and transitioning. Kudos also to assistant Shaun Varsos, who spent a week of 12 hour days putting up items, cross checking, and then doing the post office runs. And as always, thanks to my wife Pat, who took care of downloading, checking, and printing each and every order that came in.
We're going to do a small pre-holiday sale (no autographing, sorry, just low prices!), and then, hopefully, go back to the old annual "Christmas in August" as of next year.
Meanwhile, thank you all for the tremendous support!!!
Pearl Foundation sale hits $10,000!
Thanks to all of you, by the third day our sale passed $10,000. We have run out of Breaking Silence (more will arrive Wednesday), the big specials are going gung-ho (phone calls and lunches with Janis, hand written lyrics), and the D'Addario Musician's Box is finally moving. Thank you one and all!!
Our "Early Christmas" Sale Is Happening Now!
Our "Early Christmas" benefit sale begins Saturday, October 15th at 6:00AM (CST)! It will last for one week, closing on Saturday, October 22nd at 6:00PM (CST).
We've a brand new, much improved store and tons of new items (Breaking Silence CD's, album downloads, D'Addario Musician's Boxes, and much more).
Deep, deep discounts store-wide, and remember - every cent you spend during the sale goes to The Pearl Foundation!
Many of the items available right now are ONLY available during our annual sale! You won't find them in our store at any other time. This is your one and only chance to pick them up until this time again next year.
Here's just a sample of some of the great "exclusive" items you'll find in the store during the sale. Hurry, because many of these are limited in quanity!
Strictly Solo CD
"The Works" CD Set
"The Works" Audiobook Edition
"The Works" Life Set
"The Works" Japanese "Blue Spec CD" Blu-ray Set
"The Works Unreleased" Combo
Live From Grand Center DVD
D'Addario Musician's Box
Naked Folk Calendar
Rare CD Set
Rare DVD Set
Stella Adler DVD Set
Stars Audiobook and Hardback Combo
Patience & Sarah Audiobook and Paperback Combo
An Evening at Doudna DVD
Shout, Sister, Shout! CD
Start shopping now at our new store!
"Early Christmas" benefit sale begins Saturday, October 15th!
Our store is temporarily closed so we can organize our annual "Early Christmas" benefit sale!
We'll re-open Saturday, October 15 at 6 am CST with a brand new, much improved store and tons of new items (Breaking Silence CD's, album downloads, D'Addario Musician's Boxes, and much more).
Deep, deep discounts store-wide, and remember - every cent you spend during the sale goes to The Pearl Foundation, so check back with us then!!!
Godzilla Haiku Needed!
We are looking for Godzilla haiku to post on Janis' Facebook page!
FORMAT: 3 lines, 5-7-5 syllables.
SUBJECT: Godzilla, ancillary "monsters" OR just a haiku.
STYLE: Either Japanese-style haiku à la Basho, or haiku using fractured English ("Janglish").
EXAMPLE: Godzilla must go/so you cannot see the depth/of his loneliness (by SamuraiFrog).
ALSO: Make sure to let us know how you want to be credited.
MISC: You do not have to lay the text into a photo; we can do that for you. However, if you feel like it, by all means.
SUBMIT TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
Free download of "Swannanoa."
A new song, in honor of the Swannanoa Gathering's 25th anniversary!
Says Janis: "A writer is always influenced by what she hears around her. This will be my third visit to Swannanoa Gathering. There's something lonesome in the air, some sense of longing in the hills, that always strikes me when I arrive - and pains me when I leave."
Visit the Free Downloads page to download this song and many others.
You can also listen to the song on Soundcloud.
Find lyrics in the Listening Room.
Items On Sale
We just put 3 double-CD sets on sale in the Janis Ian Shopping Mall! Best of Janis Ian, Remember: Live '77, and Working Without A Net are all on sale right now at very low prices. AND we found a box of the DVD Live From Grand Center, so that's on sale too! Of course, the poetry audio book, Who Really Cares is also on sale.
Who Really Cares Audiobook Now Available!
On sale right now in the Shopping Mall. Originally published in 1969, Who Really Cares began as a collection of the poems Janis had been writing since the age of seven. The book was later expanded with 10 previously unpublished poems that had been rejected by the original publisher, and a new poem. Janis took the opportunity afforded by her winning a Spoken Word Grammy to create this audiobook.
Janis: "I was always a little embarrassed at having a book of my 'poetry' out, especially because I was just fifteen, when everything is embarrassing.... Also, I'm a songwriter, not a poet. They're very different disciplines. I love the work of Diane Wakoski, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot - to me, those are real poets.
"But the fact that it stayed in print 45+ years, and that many of my music fans drew a direct line from my early efforts at poetry to my later work as a songwriter, kept it in the back of my mind.
"I love narrating, so it was natural that I begin wondering whether this poetry could be made into an interesting audiobook. Once Jorge Reyes and I got into the studio, we started fooling with additional commentary before the poems, then added some keyboard underscoring. By the time we were done, I was thinking 'By gosh, this is so much better than I thought it could be!'
"As a side-note, I recently discovered Johnny Cash kept a well-thumbed copy of the original book in his personal library. Who am I to argue with Johnny Cash?!"
Who Really Cares is on sale right now in the Shopping Mall.
Free download of "Danger, Danger."
From Janis: In light of current events, I thought this was particularly apt.
"Danger, Danger" from the critically acclaimed album Folk Is The New Black is now available as a free download right here on the Janis Ian website. Visit the Free Downloads page to download this song and many others.
Janis enters into a partnership with Sony UK!
Janis Ian and her independent label, Rude Girl Records, are pleased to announce a partnership with the Legacy Division of Sony Music UK. The planned releases of fifteen albums, spanning more than 40 years of music, will include expanded reissues on CD and audiophile vinyl, new collections with previously unheard early versions of some of the most popular songs (including original demos and worktapes), and an immediate digital rollout of the original albums.
From Janis: “When I began recording in the 60s, at the age of fourteen, record companies still offered a ‘home’ to the artists they signed. Elektra was home to Phil Ochs. Vanguard was home to Joan Baez. And Columbia was home to many of the artists I admired most - Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash. So when I was signed by them in the early 70s, it was already a "coming home" of sorts. I stayed there for a decade, then struck out on my own as an independent artist, with no hard feelings on either side. Some thirty-plus years later, I'm thrilled to bring the work I did then, and the work I’ve done since, back home. Although the company is now called Sony Music, I still have that same feeling I had at fourteen, looking at the backs of album covers and dreaming of a day when I could be part of that roster, too.”
From Sony: US singer songwriter Janis Ian’s distinguished career will be celebrated on Monday, May 30th with the digital release of 15 studio albums via the Legacy Division of Sony Music UK.
Janis Ian’s five-decade career is an extraordinary one. Its commercial starting point commenced exactly 50 years ago in 1966 when, aged 14, she recorded her first self-penned hit, the controversial and taboo breaking ‘Society’s Child’, and released a stunning self titled debut album which introduced the world to this very gifted songwriter. Titled Janis Ian, the album garnered the first of Ian’s ten Grammy nominations.
What has followed since then is an absorbing story that has seen Janis Ian create a number of classic recordings including Between The Lines, Stars, and Rolling Stone favorite Hunger; publish several books including her acclaimed autobiography (whose audiobook won her a third Grammy, in competition with former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, Rachel Maddow, and Ellen Degeneres); collaborate with Dolly Parton, Mel Torme, Sulo Karlsson, Giorgio Moroder and Willie Nelson; and have her songs covered by artists as diverse as Nina Simone, John Mellencamp, and Celine Dion.
Always one to follow her heart and her beliefs, Janis was one of the first celebrities to come out publicly. She and her partner were married in Canada in 2003, the only place where same-sex marriage was legal at the time (2016 marks their 27th year together).
The 15 albums span Janis’ Columbia Records tenure from 1974-81, and her career thereafter until 2006. They are the first releases in what will be an extensive reissue series, including physical expanded editions of some of Janis’ best-loved albums on both CD and vinyl, as well as new collections, due for release in early 2017. These releases will be overseen by Grammy-award winning musician/producer, Steve Berkowitz. The originality and quality of Janis Ian’s songwriting and pristine vocal characterize these albums; she is an exceptional storyteller and songs such as “At Seventeen”, “Jesse”, “Fly Too High”, “I Hear You Sing Again”, and “Ride Me Like a Wave” are perfect examples of her musical prowess.
Janis Ian has come a long way since first performing publicly in Greenwich Village at the age of 13. Today she resides in Nashville, Tennessee, her home since 1988, where she’s currently working on several books as both writer and narrator, celebrating the upcoming release of her 1968 book of poetry (Who Really Cares) in audiobook format, and as always, writing songs.
Phil Savill, Managing Director of Sony Music Commercial Group says, “We are delighted to be representing 15 titles from Janis’ incredible catalogue. Janis is a rare talent, whose stellar songwriting has afforded her a deservedly long and successful career, which continues to this day. Her live performances are as truthful and mesmerising as they ever have been. We are thrilled to welcome Janis back into the Sony Music family and feel honoured at the UK Legacy Division to working with her rich musical heritage.”
Janis Ian’s catalogue is available now on iTunes.
Janis Ian Albums included under Sony Music UK Auspices:
Between The Lines (1975)
Miracle Row (1977)
Janis Ian II (1978)
Remember – Live In Japan & Australia (1978)
Night Rains (1979)
Restless Eyes (1981)
Uncle Wonderful (1983)
Janis Ian Live: Working Without A Net (2003)
Billie’s Bones (2004)
Folk Is The New Black (2006)
Best of Janis Ian (2008)
New Audiobook: Course Correction
Course Correction, the new book by Olympic silver medalist Ginny Gilder, is available today at libro.fm as an audiobook narrated by Janis Ian. Described as Wild meets The Boys in the Boat, Course Correction is a memoir about the quest for Olympic gold and the triumph of love over fear.
Course Correction recounts the physical and psychological barriers Ginny overcame as she transformed into an elite athlete who reached the highest echelon of her sport. Taking place against the backdrop of unprecedented cultural change, Ginny’s story personalizes the impact of Title IX, demonstrating the life-changing lessons learned in sports far beyond the athletic fields of play. Her journey wends its way to the Olympic podium in 1984, carries her through family tragedy, strengthens her to face her own demons and truths, and ultimately frees her to live her life despite her persistent fear of loss.
Our Forums are back!
Yes, the website forums were down for a short time while we upgraded the software, but we're back up with better security and the same great group of users. The new forums are much more mobile friendly as well, for those of you that are using phones and tablets. Come log into your account and pick up your threads, or register (and hope you pass the tests!) to join any of our three forums for civil discussion, news, and information.
Free Download! "I'm Still Standing"
For a limited time "I'm Still Standing" is available in the Shopping Mall as a free MP3 download. Go grab it now, as it won't be free for long!
"I'm Still Standing" is only available on the 2014 CD Strictly Solo, which can only be purchased at one of Janis' live shows. Strictly Solo is a completely solo album, with no overdubs, culled from live shows, special projects, and three days in the studio in Nashville.
Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia
Janis' first audio book project after her Grammy nominated Patience and Sarah is, yet again, one-of-a-kind.
"When I first read Mike Resnick's short story 'For I Have Touched the Sky', which became part of this collection, it blew me away. It touched me as a woman, as an artist, as a member of a society that often refused to understand my own thirst for knowledge. It's how Mike and I originally connected, when I sent him a fan letter about the book.
"Years later, Mike and I were sitting around at a science fiction convention, and I started telling him again how strongly I felt about Kirinyaga, how much I wished I'd been the one to narrate it. And Mike looked at me and said, 'Why don't you?'
"My immediate response was 'Because it's told in the first person by a male Kenyan shaman, and I am a white female from New Jersey.' But the more we talked about it, the more excited we both got at the thought of giving the audio book a second life. And now, with the success of Hamilton and other art works crossing race and gender, Mike's original enthusiasm and go-ahead seem almost prescient to me. Koriba's love of his lineage, his country, the respect he has for every aspect of his culture, are incredibly moving. Whether you agree with them or not, they spring from a place of truth within him."
Amazon.com: Hailed for his grandeur of imagination and superb worldbuilding, winner of and nominee for more than 50 awards for his outstanding work, Mike Resnick has rightfully won a place as one of science fiction's master storytellers. Now, in Kirinyaga, Resnick presents the haunting and utterly compelling tale of one man's utopia. Deeply moving, swiftly paced, and profound in its implications.
Kirinyaga is available on April 5th but you can pre-order it right now in the Shopping Mall.
Between The Lines Available Again!
Produced by Brooks Arthur, recorded at 914 Studios summer 1974, released February 1975 (Columbia). 5 Grammy nominations (most to that date for any female artist, a record broken only by Whitney Houston years later) and two Grammys: "Album of the Year - Between the Lines", "Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female - At Seventeen" (Grammy), "Song of the Year - At Seventeen", "Record of the Year - At Seventeen"; "Best Engineered Recording, non-classical - Between the Lines" (Grammy). Platinum in the US, Australia, UK; gold in Holland, Belgium, South Africa, Israel. "At Seventeen" #1 single US; top twenty single UK, Australia, Holland, Israel.
Congratulations to Jimmy Carter!
Said Janis when hearing President Jimmy Carter had won the Best Spoken Word Grammy: "I don't feel like I lost anything, since it went to a Nobel Peace Prize winner and man I greatly admire. Besides (referencing her 2013 Grammy win over Bill Clinton), how many presidents can one person go up against in a lifetime?!"
What an Anniversary!
2016 marks 50 years since Janis recorded her first album, Janis Ian, which featured "Society's Child" and got her first Grammy nomination for "Best Folk Album." (The actual nomination and ceremony were in 1967, for the 1966 period.) It also marks 40 years since the 1976 Grammys, when "At Seventeen" and Between the Lines were up for five Grammys and won two ("Best Female Vocalist" and "Best Engineered Album.")
In all, Janis Ian has been nominated for ten Grammys in eight different categories over a 50 year period. Pretty remarkable!
$80,500 from Pearl this year!
$80,500. That's how much we just sent to our four current scholarship funds. $909,000. That's how much money the Pearl Foundation has now given to fund our five ongoing scholarships for returning students. We couldn't do it without you - when you buy merchandise through my website or at a show, hold a living room concert, take a free download or sheet music and donate a dollar, - it all goes into the pot. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilling it is to see those checks go out every year. Thank you one and all, from me, my wife, and our 30+ (to date) scholarship recipients!! More info on The Pearl Foundation.
Patience & Sarah wins prestigious Earphones Award!
Patience & Sarah has won a prestigious Earphones Award from AudioFile. Here's what they had to say: "Janis Ian and Jean Smart bring exquisite joy, vulnerability, and honesty to their narration of Isabel Miller's 1969 historical fiction novel about the love between a poor farmer's daughter, Sarah, and a folk painter, Patience, in nineteenth-century New England. As the two women realize their feelings for each other, the narrators take on a tender tone and slow their pace, allowing their romantic epiphany to unfold. This makes for a touchingly intimate listening experience. Miller's classic love story, beautiful in its simplicity, is the first winner of the American Library Association's Stonewall Award, which recognizes "exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience." Ian and Smart give Sarah and Patience new life. E.M.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine [Published: JANUARY 2016]"
Patience & Sarah Nominated For GRAMMY Award!
We are thrilled to announce that Janis and Jean Smart have been nominated for a GRAMMY Award in "Best Spoken Word" for the audiobook Patience & Sarah!
Self-funded and produced by Janis, directed by Stefan Rudnicki (who also directed Janis' Grammy-winning autobiography Society's Child, Janis and Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Smart each perform as one of the characters in this dual point-of-view love story. Their narration brings new life into this beautiful and inspiring novel that is just as relevant today as it was decades ago.
The audiobook is available in the store where you can also read more about it and listen to samples.
Janis sends congratulations to all the other nominees, noting that she has a personal connection to each of them:
Blood on Snow (Jo Nesbo), Patti Smith
Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, And Assorted Hijinks, Dick Cavett
A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, Jimmy Carter
Yes Please, Amy Poehler (and Various Artists)
Notes Janis: I saw one of the best shows of my life when Patti Smith played a small club in San Francisco and I happened to be there on my one night off. Appeared on the Cavett show, voted for Carter, and was the first musical guest on Saturday Night Live, along with the late Billy Preston. It's a small world!!!
Getting On HBO Series
Janis was featured, both as a singer/songwriter and an actress, on the final episode of HBO's Getting On, which began its last season on HBO November 8th. The series, which stars Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein, and Niecy Nash, featured Janis in episode eight, which aired on December 13th. Other actors appearing in that episode were Rita Moreno and Harry Dean Stanton.
If you haven't watched the show before, you can watch all episodes on HBO GO, and see loads of trailers on line for all three seasons. Says Janis: "I spent almost two weeks filming and on set with the actors and crew, and had more fun than I've had in years. This is the only time I've been on a set as an actress, and it was completely different. Everyone was incredibly helpful and kind, and I hope I did my years with Stella Adler proud!
"To have the opportunity to work with a true legend, Rita Moreno, let alone hear her singing portions of 'At Seventeen', was more than I would have dreamed possible. To actually be in an episode of a series I admired so much already, to be on set for weeks instead of appearing for two hours to sing a song and then leave... I can't begin to describe what a joy this whole process was.
"I didn't really understand what it meant for the series to end until the night after our first rehearsal day, when Laurie and Alex and I were sitting around a picnic table talking about it. In my world, you know when a tour will end, when an album will be done, when you'll be saying goodbye to everyone. And it's usually well under a year for a project - so I had no understanding of what it meant, after three years together, for the cast and crew to say 'goodbye'.
"It moved me so much that I began scribbling notes for a song on the back of my script. I scribbled during breaks for the next three days, then sang it for Laurie and Alex. With their blessing, I presented the song to the writers, Will Scheffer and Mark Olsen, and the producer, Chrisann Verges. Although it was too late to use in the series, I went ahead and recorded it as a thank you, and a tribute, to the wonderful people I met and worked with there."
Janis' new original song, "Getting On," is available right now to download in the Shopping Mall.
You can listen to "Getting On" in its entirety for free via a stream at SoundCloud.
Visit the HBO GO website.
Visit the Getting On home page.
Lincoln Center's "Great American Songwriters" features Janis!
We're thrilled to announce that Janis will be playing Lincoln Center's "Great American Songwriters" series on February 5, 2016. Tickets to the general public go on sale November 16th at 10 am EST. This is the only live show planned for 2016; the rest of her time will be taken up finishing projects she's been delaying in other areas.
We're not sure what she's planning, but we know the show will feature what Janis considers her own best work!!
In celebration of her first partnership with Lincoln Center, back in 1967, she has released an e-book version of her 1967 poetry book, Who Really Cares, as well as a re-release of the print edition of Stars: The Anthology, with a new story by Michael Swanwick. You can purchase either through this site, benefitting the Pearl Foundation, or through all the "regular outlets".
Video by Gogorosi uses song "From Me To You"!
Paraskevi Gogorosi is a Greek designer and video maker. In her own words: " I have made a video inspired by your song, for the dire situation that the Syrian refugees are facing. I was looking at photos of them while listening to Janis' songs. It was just an intense moment, when I realised that the lyrics were telling a story about these souls."
Special thanks to Mine Music for permission to post this with music!
Watch the video on Vimeo.
Join Janis on HBO's "Getting On" series!
Janis will be appearing in the final episode of the critically acclaimed HBO series Getting On, both acting and singing. The third season begins airing November 8th, so give yourself time to catch up on this incredible combination of docu-drama and comedy before then.
Janis' own appearances take place "on the ward" and in the "hospital", using four of her songs in performances you would never, ever expect to see. Rita Moreno sings with her, and even Harry Dean Stanton puts in an appearance.
The beginning of a new phase in Janis' career? We don't know; we just know she wrote a song for the final show and series that will be released closer to the air date, and that "Being on the set with actors of this calibre, along with Mark (Olsen), Will (Shepherd), and Miguel (Arteta) was one of the highlights of my life. It was so much fun that for the ten days of the shoot, I was on set even when I wasn't required."
The final episode contains some huge surprises, so tune in!!
Janis & Jean Smart co-narrate!
The long awaited audio book Patience & Sarah is finally available. Listen to excerpts on our site! A true labor of love on Janis' part, the audio book is narrated by multi-award-winning actress Jean Smart (Designing Women) as Patience, and Janis as Sarah. Directed by Stefan Rudnicki, who directed Janis' own Grammy-winning autobiography, this brings to fruition a dream Janis has had since first reading the print book in 1972. We're keeping fingers crossed that lightning strikes twice, and it makes the final round of you-know-what-award nominations!!!
Stars audiobook on CD finally available here!
The updated version of Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian is now available in our online store as a CD audio book. Featuring original short stories by 30 top science fiction authors, Stars is a huge anthology in both volume and talent. E
Stars was compiled and edited by Mike Resnick and Janis Ian and includes stories by Nebula and Hugo winners like Joe Haldeman, Jane Yolen, Harry Turtledove, Orson Scott Card, and Mercedes Lackey. Included, too, a story by Janis Ian.The stories 'have heart. They have life. They have truth. They move me,' says Janis Ian. 'As an artist I can ask for nothing more.'
You can purchase this brand new CD audio book version in our online store. You'll also find links to purchase the book as a downloadable audio book (from Audible) a paperback (from Amazon) or a Kindle download (from Amazon).
The Singer & The Song & Stars both nominated for 2015 Audie Awards!
The Singer & The Song has been nomiated for a prestigious Audie Award! Janis not only narrates this wonderful book from Miriam Therese Winter, she performs over twenty pieces of music, including an original song she wrote especially for the project. The Singer and the Song includes a performance of "Joy Is Like the Rain" and other songs penned by Miriam Therese Winter. The author and narrator, supported by friends who formed an interfaith chorus in the studio, perform a classic spiritual memoir in a way that will inspire anyone interested in living a life of love and service. The Singer & The Song is available in Janis' store.
For Stars, also nominated for an Audie Award, Janis and 30 top science fiction writers team up to create an astonishing book of original short fiction. Stars is a huge anthology in both volume and talent. Each story, available only here, is based on a Janis Ian song that meant something special to the author, who then wrote the story expressly for Stars, creating a meld of jazz, prose, and science fiction found nowhere else - a treasure trove for fans of both SF and Janis Ian! The amazing audio book is over twenty hours long and narrated by Janis, Gabrielle De Cuir, Emily Rankin, Stefan Rudnicki, Susan Hanfield, Kathe Mazur, Paul Boehmer and Kristoffer Tabori. The Stars audiobook is available at Audible.com.
You can find a complete list of nominees at the Audio Publishers Association website.
Thank you one and all!
The 2015 "White sale" raised over $20,000 net for Pearl Foundation scholarship endowments - a special thank you to everyone on Facebook who shared the news. We sold out of many items in the first two days - the G7 capos, Stella Adler sets, D'Addario Musician's Boxes, Grand Center DVD and others went like hotcakes. We were completely overhwlemed during the last 48 hours, with over 300 orders coming in just during that period. This was great!!!! The sale even led to the formation of a brand new page on my site - check out Gear for microphones, guitars, and more! Sign up for the Mailing List to be notified about future sales, and thank you all again!
The Singer & the Song receives prestigious Voice Arts nomination!
Janis' most recent audio book has been nominated for a Voice Arts award! In addition to narrating the life history of Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter, Janis sung 28 songs by the noted Catholic theologian for the project, spent several days learning correct pronunciation for words in the Navajo tongue as well as how to say things in languages ranging from Laotian to Hindi, and created an enormous "script" with notes on how to translate a song written for a women's prison choir into a single singer with wine glasses and a yellow highlighter for instruments.
An incredible story that spans 70+ years, and leads us everywhere from Khmer Rouge hideouts to the Hartford Seminary, we are thrilled that the book is being recognized, and "MT" - still thriving - is seeing the labors of her unstintingly generous life shared with so many
Janis and Tommy Emmanuel!
After a scant 10 minute's "rehearsal" in an unused trailer backstage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Tommy Emmanuel joined Janis on stage for two stunning closers - "At 17", and "Over the Rainbow".
Janis was completely unaware that when Tommy first moved to the "big city" of Sydney Australia, broke and renting a tiny room for $7.00 a night, a kindly pizza joint owner took pity on the young guitarist and played the song on a jukebox for him. Tommy said the fellow played it a dozen times for him that day, and every day thereafter he listened to it at least once. Completely unexpected magic and synchronicity.
Top 40 in Rolling Stone!
Janis' multi-award-winning album, Between the Lines, has been named by Rolling Stone Magazine as "One of the 40 Albums Baby Boomers Loved That Millenials Don't Know." Read the article as well as Janis' page in it.
I'm Still Standing is available!
Although the Strictly Solo album is currently only available for purchase at live shows, Janis has made "I'm Still Standing" available on iTunes and Amazon.com for downloading. Says she: "I've gotten so many requests, literally hundreds, from fans who want a copy of that song to play for themselves and their friends - it just seemed so important to people - so I've put that one track up. I hope everyone enjoys it!"
Want to contribute to a new project?
Janis just finished recording two self-funded projects near and dear to her heart - Mike Resnick's "Kirinyaga" and Isabel Miller's "Patience & Sarah." These projects are being funded through the sale of her guitars and contributions from people like you! If you like the idea use the button below or go to Paypal and send something to email@example.com. See below for a fuller explanation.
* NOTE. The other Paypal donation buttons on this site do NOT fund projects. They deposit directly to the Pearl Foundation!!! Frankly, we'd rather you put your money there, but if you have extra, we'll gladly take it for the projects fund!
Says Janis: "I've sold a National Steel and custom Les Paul to fund these projects because I love these books, and I firmly believe that out there is an audio book publisher who will "get it" and give them the time and attention they deserve.
About Kirinyaga, Amazon.com says:
"In Kirinyaga, Resnick presents the haunting and utterly compelling tale of one man's utopia. By the 22nd century in the African nation of Kenya, polluted cities sprawl...great animal herds are but distant memories... but Koriba, a distinguished, educated man of Kikuyu ancestry... is determined to build a utopian colony, not on earth, but on the terraformed planetoid he proudly names Kirinyaga... Reinstating the ancient customs and stringent laws of the Kikuyu people... he must face many challenges to the struggling colony's survival: from a brilliant young girl whose radiant intellect could threaten their traditional ways to the interference of "Maintenance" which holds the power to revoke the colony's charter.
Ironically, the Kirinyaga experiment threatens to collapse-not from violence or greed-but from humankind's insatiable desire for knowledge. The Kikuyu people can no more stand still in time than their planet can stop revolving around its sun. Deeply moving, swiftly paced, and profound in its implications...
About "Patience & Sarah":
Recipient of the American Library Association's very first Stonewall Award, this classic historical novel is based on two real women (painter Mary Ann Wilson and her companion, Miss Brundage) who lived together in a "Boston marriage" during the early 1800's. The book traces the relationship between Patience White (narrated by Jean Smart) and Sarah Dowling (narrated by Janis Ian) as they weather the puritanical beliefs of their small New England farm community.
Per Janis: "To call this a 'gay love story' is to limit the story. It's the tale of anyone who's ever fallen in love with the 'wrong' person, whose had to take on family, church, community, even friends in order to be true to themselves. The book itself is a multi-layered piece of historical fiction that also addresses the limited roles of women in America then and now, gender expression past and present, monetary freedom and entrapment, the interpretation of religion as it pertains to everyday life, the difference being able to read can make in a life, and ultimately, the triumph of love over ignorance and small-mindedness."
Janis Ian is waiving any fees for the creation of these projects. Funding is necessary to cover studio time, director, editing, room and board, talent and transportation costs. Kirinyaga has moderate funding due to Skyboat Media, Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle de Cuir donating their services, but it's bare bones beyond that. Mike Resnick has also waived any sort of advance because he wants KIRINYAGA to be narrated by Janis. Any kind of contribution for these projects is very appreciated!
If there are monies left over they will either go to creating an album of "old time" music by friends like Al Petteway, Amy White, and Diane Jones to accompany the "P&S" audio book, and other independent projects by Janis.
March UK Tour With Tom Paxton
Janis will be on tour with Tom Paxton during the month of March throughout the UK.
Shows are schecheduled for Birmingham, Bristol, Basingstoke, Liverpool, Gateshead, London, Cambridge, York and Glasgow.
More information about each date is available on the On Tour page.
School Library Journal loves The Tiny Mouse!
School Library Journal has given The Tiny Mouse a series of accolades, beginning with their stunning review, continuing with an article about the importance of music to reading, inspired by you-know-who. The book is currently on sale in our website store, and can be signed and personalized by Janis herself!!
The Singer & the Song wins an award & gets a blog!
Skyboat Media have put up a blog of the project - watch Janis play wine glasses, tune her guitar, and run her Mormon choir! See footage of "MT" talking about her song "Joy Is Like the Rain".
Janis' bold narration of Sister Miriam Therese Winter's autobiography has received the prestigious "Earphones Award" from Audiofile Magazine. The audio book features over 20 songs performed by Janis, her first major recording since 2006. For more information about this incredible project - a true labor of love - read here.
We have just given away $76,000!!
Much thanks to everyone who made this year's Pearl Foundation disbursements possible - auction participants, website and live show purchases, Paypal buttons, checks and money orders. We appreciate every single cent! This year, we disbursed funds to continue endowing the Pearl Foundation scholarships as follows:
Warren Wilson College $23,000.
Berea College $46,000 (two scholarships)
Goddard College $7,000 (adding to present scholarship fund)
What a month!
What a month it's been! Though it's a little early to tell for sure, looks like the annual website sale raised over $4,500 for the Pearl Foundation! Added to the auction proceedings of @ $12,500, we are having a banner December. Thank you one and all!
Janis' new audio book released November 19th!
Janis' first big audio book project since she won the Grammy for her own audio book releases November 19th. The autobiography of Miriam Therese Winter, Medical Mission Sister, Catholic feminist theologian, songwriter and recording artist who sold out Carnegie Hall with her choir, "MT" is currently dean of the New Hartford Seminary's Feminist Studies department. At 75, she shows no signs of slowing down!
The audio book contains 28 songs and excerpts from songs by Winter; all but two are performed by Janis. (The exceptions are one original recording from Winter's choir in the 70's, and one small choir led by Janis for the recording.)
Janis calls it "a really American project. You have a Catholic nun who says she's 'defected in place'. A gay Jewish narrator, a lapsed Catholic director and semi-Buddhist producer, with several Mormon friends providing a choir here and there. Diversity coupled with sincerity, and respect for one another's cultures and religions. That's really what America is about."
She set out to make the recording as true to Winter's life as possible. "Here's a woman who, at age 16, decided to enter the nunnery. She wanted to go to Africa, but they made her stay and get a master's in music. Then came Vatican II, and they had no Catholic liturgy, so she wrote the liturgy. Off she went to Kenya afterwards, ministering to emaciated children. And then to Cambodia, Laos, the Khmer Rouge and their victims. She comes home, finally, to get her doctorate at Princeton, and Hartford calls her to head up their first feminist studies program. Between all that, she writes books about the relationship between quantum physics and theology, survives breast cancer, helps her own mother through her breast cancer, and realizes that God is so very, very much bigger than she'd ever thought, there isn't even a word for it any longer.
"I had a moment of enormous panic when I realized that I was supposed to single-handedly re-create 28 choir pieces... me and my little guitar. But the more I listened and sang MT's songs, the more I realized that her usic reflected the times, and her growth through those times. From 'Joy is Like the Rain' and 'Peter', where she's discovering her own relationship to the universe at large - to "It's a Long, long Road", where she joins the other church folk working within the civil rights movement, to 'Architect of All Creation' (my personal favorite) and the all-embracing 'I am the One' - she's bravely looked into her own heart, and her own church, and forged her own path. I tried to do the same with this book."
Kirkus Reviews names The Tiny Mouse a Best Children's Book!
Janis Ian's new book, The Tiny Mouse, with illustrations by Ingrid & Dieter Schubert, has been named a "Best Children's Book 2013" by the prestigious Kirkus Review. Visit Janis' new Youtube channel for videos.
The Tiny Mouse follows the adventures of a bored mouse who decides to go to sea and narrowly escapes a grisly death. In his moment of truth, he understands that it's better to be a whole mouse at home than someone's dinner at sea.
This book and CD set has not only Janis Ian singing "The Tiny Mouse" with a full band but also a version without vocals for singalong fun. A complete transcription for piano and guitar is also included, and children are encouraged to create their own videos, using the background music, then post to Youtube!!
Janis wins an An Audie Award!
We are proud to announce Janis has won an Audie in the "Best Narration by Author" category!!! This is the only awards program in the United States devoted entirely to honoring spoken word entertainment.
You can find a behind-the-scenes look at how the book was created by visiting the Skyboat Media tribute here.
The Audio Publishers Association, a non-profit trade organization, was formed in 1987 and serves the audio book industry much as the Grammys serve the music industry, advocating high production and technical standards, serving as a networking and educational forum, and bringing together everyone involved in audiobooks.
Janis WINS the GRAMMY!
We are thrilled to announce that Janis has won the 2013 GRAMMY award for "Best Spoken Word Album"! Up against Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Ellen Degeneres and Rachel Maddow, Janis' autobiography Society's Child took home the award.
In honor of her GRAMMY win, Audible.com are offering a free 17 minute sample of the book! Look under the cover photo and press "Sample."
You can also visit the Official Grammy website to watch video footage of the award presentation.
Check The Latest Update!
Janis' audiobook is a Booklist 2012 Editor's Choice!
Booklist has chosen the audiobook "Society's Child: My Autobiography", recently nominated for a Best Spoken Word GRAMMY award, as part of it's 2012 Editor's Choice list. Booklist is the American Library Association's organ for reviews, interviews, and the like. It goes not just to libraries but to bookstores, schools, and other institutions all over the country. As someone who constantly gives thanks to the library system for what it has done, and continues to do, for her, Janis does whatever she can to promote them. This Editor's Choice is particularly appropriate - congratulations, Janis!
New Free Downloads!
We've posted several new free downloads on the Free Downloads page, including the full version of "I Am The One" as well as "Play Like A Girl" from the 2000 release "god & the fbi." Just right click on the download button to download the MP3 files.
New "Author's preferred" Kindle and paperback editions of Society's Child for overseas purchasers!
I've just published a new Kindle edition of my autobiography, Society's Child, specifically for fans wanting to order outside North America. Up until now, your only option was to order through US outlets and pay heavy shipping - we fixed that now! Done in conjunction with Lucky Bat Books, it contains links to music and photos and more. And in our continuing effort to save you shipping costs, the trade paperback version should also be available on your local Amazon site. Just search for the 2012 Author's Preferred Edition of Society's Child.
In honor of the digital release of the Stars anthology, we are offering Janis' contribution ("Second Person Unmasked") for free reading, in the hopes that it will convince you to buy the book!
Stars: Original Stories Based On the Songs Of Janis Ian received three "best" & seventeen honorable mentions (including Janis' story!) in Year's Best SF 2004, ed. by Gardner Dozois.
The book also features Spider Robinson, David Gerrold, Robert Sawyer, Stephen Baxter, Nancy Kress, Howard Waldrop, Harry Turtledove.
"This dazzling, highly original anthology, ignited by the meeting of songwriter Ian and a host of SF writers affected by her music at the 2001 Worldcon, showcases 30 mostly superior stories, each based on one of her songs. Some contributors take Ian at her word that science fiction is 'the jazz of prose,' responding to many of society's sharpest wounds with bittersweet improvisatory descants, like Terry Bisson in 'Come Dance with Me,' David Gerrold in 'Riding Janis' and Orson Scott Card in 'Inventing Lovers on the Phone,' tales that probe the angst of adolescence… The entire anthology seems to vibrate with the death throes of one world passing away, while far stranger ones struggle to be born. Their commonality, Ian tells us in her introduction, is that 'They have heart. They have life. They have truth.' No artist - nor any reader - could ask for more." - Publisher's Weekly
The "Tiny Mouse" has launched!
Janis' song "The Tiny Mouse", (lyrics) written especially for The Boat Project, has become reality. The little wooden carving of a mouse, which inspired the song, has been placed at the top of the steering wheel on the boat, which will be touring the UK and going down the river Thames as part of the Olympic Ceremonies this summer.
"It was an enormous honor to be one of only fifteen songwriters asked to participate in this project," said Janis. "Though I can't participate in the Olympics as a high jumper, my previous goal in life, 'The Tiny Mouse' has allowed me to play some small role in the festivities."
You can pre-order at Amazon UK.
It will be available on Amazon US and iTunes soon after.
Lyrics are here.
"Nothing Special," featuring "Days Like These" chosen for Academy of Motion Pictures collection!
From the writer/director, Angela Garcia Combs:
I am writing to share some exciting news about our film, "Nothing Special". The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, wrote to us to ask if they could include "Nothing Special" in their curated Permanent Core Collection. I was informed that they had tracked the film and felt it was worthy of inclusion in their permanent collection by virtue of its artistic and educational merit. The materials will be preserved and the script and film will be used as a teaching tool for new writers and filmmakers. It's a great honor to have achieved this kind of critical recognition, and I'd like to thank all the great talent that worked on this piece for your support, belief and the lending of your talent to achieve this unexpected recognition. Wonderful and worthy is your work, talent, and support, and I look forward to many more great collaborations and adventures.
Angela Garcia Combs Writer/Director
Janis featured in The London Times!
Janis was recently featured in The London Times. David Sinclair wrote a glowing, four star review of her recent show at Cadogan Hall in London.
Here's an excerpt from the review:
"A teenage prodigy who enjoyed her first hit record when she was 15 and was a "has-been by the age of 16", Ian has since survived a succession of emotional trials and upheaveals to become the 60-year old grande dame of the singer-songwriter tendency that she is today. A short, silver-haired, Jewish woman from New Yor City, Ian stood alone on the stage - no sitting around for her. The show was all about the songs, the lyrics, the person; but posterity also demands a quick mention of her acoustic guitar. She played it so beautifully, with an attention to touch and tone far exceeding that of the great majority of singers accompanying themselves in this way. As she san encores of "Jesse" and "Stars" (there was) a joy among the audience that was palpable."
You can read and/or download a clipping of the review here.
Read Janis' library speech.
Janis was recently honored to be asked to address the annual start-of-school convocation of Nashville school librarians. She spoke deeply and from the heart about what libraries have meant to her, both in and out of school, bringing many in the audience of several hundred to tears. A quote from the speech has been reprinted at the American Library Association's site, and the full text can be read on the Metro Nashville public school site here:
"Welcome Home" Wins 2010 Asimov's Readers Award!
Janis' song "Welcome Home" has won the 2010 Asimov's Readers' Award for best poem! She joins (among others) fellow honorees Carol Emshwiller, Michael Swanwick, and Michael Whalen.
Said Janis: "As a loyal Asimov's reader since the magazine began in 1977 - and also as a former neighbor of Isaac Asimov's in Manhattan - this is a wonderful honor. I wrote 'Welcome Home' from the heart, and I'm so glad the readers agreed!"
See a list of all the winners.
Read the lyrics.
Yes, we got to donate $90,000!
Just hit the Newsroom link on the home page to see what we're talking about! Outside of an impending trip to Japan, work with Kevin Eubanks and plans for a European tour, Janis and her fans were able to donate a stunning $90,000 in scholarship funds this year!
About The 'Search The Site' Function
This new site utilizes a sophisticated Search Engine powered by Google. It searches the entire www.janisian.com site. However, it can take awhile for Google to update its records for this site.
Right now it is still searching through a lot of information found on the pages of the OLD site.
If you click on a search result that is pointed to an old, deleted page you will arrive at our custom "Page Not Found" page.
Since we completely deleted the old site and built an entirely new site it will take a little while for Google to begin indexing these new pages and discarding the old pages. Once it does that the search results will begin to reflect content from this new site and not the old one. Thanks for your patience.
click on any date for full information
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All tour dates updated on November 23, 2016
Living Room Concert, Private Event
Living Room Concert
Sorry, this is a private event.
Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater, New Brunswick, NJ
Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater
New Brunswick, NJ
Visit the venue's website
More informantion coming soon.
Workshops at The Atrium, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Workshops at The Atrium, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ
Visit the venue's website
Tickets go on sale January 2, 2017.
"My Evil Twin: Dealing With Fear as an Artist"
"Archetypes in Songwriting"
"Storytelling - Living Your Artistic Life Out Loud"
More information coming soon.
Swannanoa Gathering, Asheville, NC
Visit the venue's website
More information coming soon.