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Monthly Update

August 23, 2017

MY WHIRLWIND LIFE

Janis on the Big Bang set, in front of The Elevator

Janis on the Big Bang set, in front of The Elevator

For someone who's "off the road", I have been traveling more than expected! Just a quick run down – several months working on projects in the Tampa Bay area (where I got to see a private show by wonderful Edel Munoz and Isabel Diaz Bello, then go bird-watching on Sarasota Bay). Back home to plunge into the Sarah Partridge project, Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian (which just happens to be on sale right now via this website!) and its release.

Pearl Foundation lunch with Cheryl Wood, Michelle Dorning and Patty Slaughter

Pearl Foundation lunch with Cheryl Wood, Michelle Dorning and Patty Slaughter

From there, back to home and a whirlwind: 6 visits back and forth to Los Angeles for various projects, four Pearl Foundation lunches, shooting a video for Mary Black's television special, private shows, appearances as a performer and lecturer at Rutgers University, great interview with David South Puget Sound Community College, writing for a few new projects (TBA, sorry), then off to the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College for three weeks of classes (I took whistle this year, and taught master classes for a week). Had an absolutely amazing time singing my song "Swannanoa" with John Whelan on accordion and Nuala Kennedy on whistle and harmonies. (Let me just say that I never knew an accordion could sound so beautiful, and after hearing Nuala play, I pretty much gave up the delusion that I'd ever be a great whistle player.)

Janis with Bill Prady, sitting in Sheldon's spot

Janis with Bill Prady, sitting in Sheldon's spot

One of the most fun things was a Pearl Living Room Concert, booked by the wonderful Bill Prady. He and Chuck Lorre are co-creators of The Big Bang Theory, and the concert was filled with interesting people. Among them were the amazing Ricky Jay, NASA's Bobak Ferdowski, director/writer Paul Feig (we've been trying to connect for more than a decade, since we shared a stage on a television show about our book releases), and… get ready for it… mondo guitarist Kevin Eubanks, who sat in with me on a version of "From Me To You" that knocked even my socks off. In fact, it was so great, we're talking about doing some dates together next year.

To be honest, working so much as a solo performer, I sometimes forget how fantastic it is to sit with a great musician and listen to them playing as I just sing!

Janis and Merka - Cambridge

Janis and Merka - Cambridge

So, it's been a wonderfully music-filled year in some respects, and a year of great losses as well. My old friend Barbara Cook and the marvelous Glen Campbel, who'd each covered my song "Stars" and brought me great joy with their distinctive interpretations. And the death of my oldest friend, Merka – whom you may remember from my early song "Queen Merka & Me." I'd known her since I was ten; she was that rare "adult" (really, six years makes a huge difference at that age) who took my dreams seriously. She hid me in her dorm room when I was thirteen, took my first publicity photos when I was fourteen, and patiently read my 20+ page letters about writing, being an artist, and teenage angst through my later teen years. Merka accompanied me as my first chaperone/tour manager when I went on the road with "Society's Child", and was a mainstay in my life until just a few months ago, when she passed. From the time I first knew her, Merka always wanted a "house in the woods with a lot of children". I helped raise the roof on her house, and the last time I saw her, it was filled with her four children, their spouses, and 10 grandchildren, the most recent just a few weeks old. A life well lived

It's funny that in my mid-sixties, I still looked on Merka as "the grownup" I could always turn to in time of trouble. It's hard getting used to losing people…

Janis with Kevin Eubanks

Janis with Kevin Eubanks

On that sad note, I'll turn to brighter things. The Pearl Foundation continues to make forward strides, with no staff, no advertising, and virtually no expenses. Right now, we have donated over $983,000.00 to support five scholarships for returning students. Our annual website sale will begin this coming Saturday, August 26th, at noon Central Time. We'll be lowering prices hugely on current items and adding a few new – Sarah Partridge has donated three "Master Vocal Classes", I'm donating a pair of "Godzilla Sneakers" and "Godzilla Harambe Shoes", and we've implemented some of your ideas as well – a personalized card from me, sets of laminates, the D'Addario Musician's Box (back by popular demand!), and a bunch of other things. So come early, shop late, and help us reach our goal!! I want to be able to say that the Foundation has donated over ONE MILLION DOLLARS in scholarship funds! I think we can do it, with your help.

Well, that's about it from me. I hope everyone has joy in their lives, health and wisdom, and a great fall season!

Janis Ian

Janis

Hot News
  • Holiday Sale!

    As of December 31st, 2017, the Pearl Foundation will have given away one million dollars in scholarship funds for returning students. To celebrate this occasion, we are holding a small holiday sale. You can order a personalized holiday card, download the normally unavailable Strictly Solo album, buy a Living Room Concert for a third of the normal price, and order our digital songbooks at 25% off!

  • New Download of "Perfect Little Girl"

    The new song "Perfect Little Girl" is now available as a download! You can purchase it in the Store. Enjoy!

  • Celebrating The Swannanoa Gathering!

    Janis has just returned from The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC, and we're providing her song "Swannanoa" as a free download!

[more hot news]

Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on December 10, 2017

[full tour dates list]

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