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Living Room Concerts
More About The Pearl Foundation

What will your donation buy? You and a friend will get to be crew members for an entire show day!

Among the things that will happen: meet up with Janis and her crew when they arrive at the venue, help carry gear, assist them in setting the stage, watch (and even video or tape) sound check, spend some time backstage, visit the dressing room(s). Depending on the gig, dinner or backstage snacks and hang with Janis and crew, help out at the merchandise table before and after the show while Janis meets and greets. If you're interested, you can even watch makeup take the place of Janis' normal face. Of course, you can take photos, walk around on stage during sound check, even try one of the guitars! You'll load out with the crew and go home a happy camper!

Buy Now

**100% of this goes to THE PEARL FOUNDATION**

Lyrics

Lisa Mele (and Ken Menard)
November 7, 2014

Ken & Lisa backstage

Ken, Lisa and Janis backstage

While contemplating the perfect anniversary gift for my boyfriend Ken, I headed to Janis Ian's website with the idea of possibly purchasing an autographed book or CD as we have been huge fans for many years. Little did I know that while perusing the offerings I would come upon a gift that would not only benefit The Foundation but would provide both of us with spectacular memories to last a lifetime! Ken would be Janis Ian's "Roadie For a Day"!

This was just one of a dozen items Janis offered on her adjacent site for the Pearl Foundation, which provides scholarships for college students through the sale items listed. Among others I had to choose from were a living room concert (in my own home!), a personal phone call, lunch with Janis, and "Make a suggestion". Since Ken plays guitar, and performs, I thought spending a day with Janis and her crew would be the perfect gift.

After making the purchase online, I was contacted by Janis' representative, and we set it up for Janis' show at the beautiful Bridge Street Live in Collinsville, CT, near where I live. As the date approached, Ken and I became more and more excited about what this day would have in store for both of us. We ended up being completely blown away by the entire experience!

Janis' team had told us to arrive "any time after load-in", so by the time we arrived, Janis was already on stage performing her sound check. Her tour manager, Debra, invited us to take seats wherever we wanted, and provided us with "Crew - All Access" passes we could hang around our necks for identification and backstage admittance. So, we sat...lanyards in hand, in complete awe of the legend standing just a few feet in front of us! (WOW!)

Janis & Ken backstage

Ken and Janis compare hand sizes

Sound check complete, Janis and the rest of the crew warmly greeted us and promptly invited us backstage to watch the preparations for the evening's show. Clothing was laid out, a last minute shoe repair performed, the make-up table set up, and more. All the while what was going on was explained to us, and we were included in all the conversations – everything from "There's not enough light in here – can we move a table into the bathroom, where can I hang my shirts?" to "Merch (merchandise) might get crazy tonight, make sure there are security people to help with the lines," to "I don't understand how a shirt on a hanger in a hanging bag can get wrinkled overnight... and I hate ironing..." and "Is that Sabra hummus on the table?!" (WOW again!).

A short time later we were given a venue menu to make our dinner choices. Dinner...with Janis Ian! How cool is that? Oh, WAY cool, I can tell you! The most delicious dinner arrived, and we all sat around the table sharing conversation and food just like friends and family might. Everyone, including Janis, seemed genuinely interested in us – where we were from, what we did, how we'd met, how I'd discovered the Pearl Foundation. (More WOW!)

After dinner it was time to set up the merchandise table with Jason. Since the profit goes to charity, this is a really vital part of the evening, and a big part of why Janis always stays after the show to meet people and sign things for them. There's even a "tip jar", which Janis said had already raised over a thousand dollars that week! As "roadies for the day", we helped unload the van, carried and unpacked boxes, placed a cute hand puppet of "The Tiny Mouse" on the "tip jar" so he could watch over the money, flapped books (putting the jacket flap on the page Janis would sign), and watched Janis pre-sign hardbacks of her autobiography for people who couldn't wait after the show.

After another very quick sound check, just to make sure everything was still in order after the technicians had taped down any loose wires she might trip over (!), Janis took Ken up on the stage and showed him all of the equipment for the show. They talked about pedal boards, types of tape and other equipment, and other things I couldn't hear because I was busy taking photos. When he commented on her "Janis Ian signature model" Santa Cruz guitars, and how small the necks were, she even compared the size of their hands (I have photos!). Wanting him to have a better look at one of them, she picked it up and took Ken outside to show him the colors in the wood in better light. She explained that it was her "youngest", only about five years old, and that the rosewood back had been reclaimed from a ship that had sunk off the coast of Brazil. She then went backstage to prepare herself for the performance while we assisted (or bugged) Jason with merchandising as the doors opened. Either way, he was very patient and accommodating!

Show time...(more WOW than you can imagine!). Janis provided all of us fortunate to be in the house that night with not only the beautiful music she is so well known for but also shared many anecdotes and stories about her music, family members, and her life. I took notice during the show of how quiet the audience was-with the exception of generous applause after each song! I don't think I have ever been to a concert where the audience was silent like this during the performance. It was apparent that everyone in attendance was enjoying themselves so much they were completely mesmerized by Janis. We were disappointed when the show was over but knew we had plenty of fun left to be had afterwards.

Janis & Ken backstage

Janis and the flapped books

After the show we went back to the merchandising area where Janis so kindly and patiently greeted all of her fans, autographed whatever they asked her to and posed for many photos. We were treated just like part of her actual crew and we LOVED IT! Ken walked the line of waiting fans and shared Janis' children's book, The Tiny Mouse, showing people the drawings in it and pointing out the enclosed CD. He also ended up being the unofficial photographer. One time Janis said to a fan, "Give Ken your camera, he'll take our picture, it's his first day", another time with a smile on her face she said to Debra who was carrying something, "Put that down, Ken will get it". He was thrilled to do so and it was so great to see him included in the tasks and enjoying himself so much!

While Ken helped Jason pack up the merchandise I walked backstage to ask Janis to sign the song list from the evening for Ken to take home and we began to talk. We sat down and just chatted for a few minutes about life, relationships, her work, my work, and a few other things. (Over the top WOW!!!). Who would ever have thought? Just amazing! Ken said that besides being on stage with Janis and talking with her about her music and equipment, this was one of his favorite moments of the evening. He was bringing some boxes to pack up the van and walked by to see his girlfriend sitting next to Janis Ian at a kitchen table talking like friends would. Later, he told me he wished he had had his phone in hand for a photo to capture the moment.

Janis & Ken backstage

Ken and Janis backstrage

All too soon it was time to say goodbye to our gracious hosts Janis, Debra & Jason! Talk about never wanting something to end...ya, this was it! Really, there are no words to adequately portray our gratitude for such a fun and enjoyable time. The three of them, as well as the staff at Bridge Street Live, really pulled out all the stops to make sure we had the time of our lives...and we sure did! We have so many special memories of the day that will no doubt last a lifetime!

And now the best WOW of all...as we began to walk to our car in the parking lot Janis called my name. I turned back and she removed a beaded bracelet from her wrist and said that she had been wearing it at home for two years because she liked the colors – now she wanted me to have it. I will treasure it forever and it will serve as a constant reminder of its very kind & profoundly talented previous owner who allowed us the privilege of sharing a day in her life!

Tour Dates

click on any date for full information
click again to close that date

All tour dates updated on December 3, 2019

  • Wednesday February 26th

    Memorial Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Memorial Hall

    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Phone: (513) 977-8838

    Visit the venue's website

    An evening with Janis, some new songs, some old songs, some funny stories and some heart-wrenching moments! Expect a shout out to the science fiction community of Cincinnati, and of course, Janis plans to stay after the show to greet people and sign whatever they may buy or bring!!

  • Friday February 28

    E. J. Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio

    E. J. Thomas Hall

    Akron, Ohio

    Phone: 330-972-7570

    Visit the venue's website

  • Sunday, March 1

    Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, IN

    Buskirk-Chumley Theater

    Bloomington, IN

    Phone: 812.323.3020

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.
    Tickets will go on sale to the public at 11am on Thursday, Sept 19th. 
    Tickets available via OvationTix

  • Monday June 29 to Friday July 3

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone: N/A

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 6 to Friday July 10

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 13 to Friday July 17

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 20 to Friday July 24

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 27 to Friday July 31

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. The final week will also feature a second, more interactive class tentatively titled "War Stories". Time of classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Wednesday August 5

    The Kate, Old Saybrook, CT

    The Kate

    Old Saybrook, CT

    Phone: (860) 510-0473

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis returns to The Kate a scant year later, at their insistence. She's sure it's too soon, they're sure it's not. She's writing furiously so she can present some new material, and looking forward to visiting one of her all-time favorite venues again! Expect some good, relaxed fun, some tears, an after-show appearance for signing things you've brought and things you may purchase at the "merch table"!!

  • Thursday August 6

    Living Room Concert, Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Living Room Concert

    Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Phone: Private

    Visit the venue's website

    Private Living Room Concert benefitting the Pearl Foundation. We are currently considering other LRC's in the general area; if you are interested please contact us through the "Make Pearl An Offer" charity section of this website. * Please do not ask if you can attend. Invitations are solely up to the donor(s) and we will not put you in touch, regardless of your reason.

[full tour dates list]

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