Sheridan Opera House: An (Sold Out) Evening With Jewel

sm_494e53bb29b71e8ed8f8dbd0a8ca783f The Sheridan Arts Foundation and Project Clean Water are proud to announce that acclaimed singer-songwriter Jewel returns to the historic Sheridan Opera House on Saturday, Aug. 17, 7:30 p.m.

After last summer’s two sold-out shows, Jewel plays another intimate solo, acoustic show to benefit the Sheridan Arts Foundation, the non-profit that owns and operates the Sheridan Opera House, and her non-profit Project Clean Water. (Tickets for this show sold-out in under 15 minutes. )

In the year since we last saw her, Jewel released her first ever career-spanning collection that includes new recordings of two classic hits with guests vocalists: “Foolish Games” with Kelly Clarkson and “You Were Meant for Me” with the Pistol Annies. The Greatest Hits album also includes a brand new single titled “Two Breaking Hearts,” a tender ballad about a once-great love, powered by thumping drums and rough-edged guitars.

Later this year, Jewel will star as June Carter Cash in the highly anticipated Lifetime movie, “Ring of Fire.”

Jewell is once again living in Telluride for the summer and jumped at the opportunity to perform again, especially since her show benefits our community.

“Spending another summer in Telluride with my family has been wonderful, especially now that my son Kase is older and can enjoy it,” Jewel said. “I have really gotten to know the community and it holds a special place in my heart. I’m proud to be able to perform again this year to support the Sheridan Arts Foundationas well as my charity Project Clean Water.”

Throughout the year, the Sheridan Arts Foundation subsidizes rental rates for local non-profits so they can host events and fundraisers at the Opera House, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary on July 6, 2013.

“The proceeds from this benefit will enable us to continue our non-profit subsidies,” said Ronnie Palamar, the director of programming for the Sheridan Arts Foundation. “Sustaining a small historic theater is unusually difficult, especially in a small town.”

Since the SAF was founded in 1991, such entertainers as Tanya Tucker, Rodney Crowell, Jackson Browne Shawn Colvin,  and John Prine have donated their time and talent to the foundation by performing benefit concerts similar to Jewel’s shows.

“This generosity is greatly appreciated by the Sheridan Opera House staff, board and the local community,” Palamar said.

Jewel is a four-time Grammy nominee songwriter, actress, poet, painter, and philanthropist. From the remote ranch of her Alaskan youth to the triumph of international stardom, she has been hailed by the New York Times as a “songwriter bursting with talents” and has enjoyed career longevity rare among her generation of artists.

Jewel’s family were original pioneers of Alaska, who settled there when it was still a territory. Her grandfather, Yule, drafted the Alaskan constitution and served as the state’s senator. She was raised on the family ranch with the same old world traditions. Her home was located in a very remote area, far from any town, and had no running water or electricity. (They used a coal stove for heat and had an outhouse.)

Both of her parents, Atz and Nedra, enjoyed making local records and performing. With with her brothers, Jewel (her given name) accompanied her parents on tours through native villages.

“At six, I remember singing for Eskimos and Aleuts in remote places, taking dog sled rides through frozen tundra,” she says.“We canned berries and made our own butter- ate only what we raised and stored.”

When her parents divorced, she spent more than a half-dozen years with her father touring as a duet act, starting at the age of eight.

“We sang in biker bars and lumberjack joints. If the cops were ever called, I’d hide in the bathroom till they were gone,” she says.

At 15, she went her own way, performing solo for the first time and earning a vocal scholarship to Interlochen, a private arts school in Michigan where she also majored in visual arts. It was there she learned guitar and began writing songs, inspired by a love of reading at a young age.

“Reading made me feel connected to the world,” she explains. “The writers I returned to again and again were the ones that were brutally honest, willing to show themselves as heroic at times, grotesque at others. Anais Nin, Charles Bukowski, these were heroes to me.”

Heartfelt songwriting became more than an emotional outlet. It was a means of survival. During spring break one year she took a train and hitchhiked in Mexico, earning money as a street-corner minstrel.

“I made up lyrics everywhere I went and eventually it turned into a very long song about what I saw around me,” she recalls. “I made it back to school two weeks later with an unformed song called ‘Who Will Save Your Soul’?” 

She was 16 at the time and had no idea that song would, a mere three years later, become the first single on her first album, offering not just a day’s meal ticket, but meteoric success.

Moving to San Diego, a series of unfortunate events led to living in her car and, after it was stolen, borrowing $1,000 from a friend to buy a van to live in. She got her first regular gig at a coffeehouse in Pacific Beach, where fans soon multiplied like rabbits, building a local cult following.

Label A&R guys started coming as well, and Jewel was signed to Atlantic Records close to her 19th birthday. Her first record, a deeply introspective, live, voice-and-acoustic-guitar, modern folk collection, Pieces of You, sold about 3000 copies, nearly all in San Diego, in the nine months after its February 1995 debut. So, Jewel hit the road with a vengeance, playing four shows a day in 40 cities. A folk singer at the height of grunge, she was encouraged by two mega talents he opened for: Bob Dylan, who actively listened to her songs and discussed lyrics with her, and Neil Young, who gave the nervous solo artist a piece of advice at Madison Square Garden:

“Its just another hash-house on the road to success. Show ‘em no respect!”

Hard work and heartfelt songwriting, not to mention an exquisitely expressive voice, paid off. After a year on the road, “Who Will Save Your Soul” became a major hit. And, with the release of two other hit singles, “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games,” album sales went through the roof, as Blender magazine writes:

“With considerably less fuss, [Pieces of You] went on to exceed the sales of Nirvanas Nevermind, moving a phenomenal 11 million units.”

Pieces of You became the best-selling debut release of all time.

After a tremendous amount of success with more than 27 million albums sold, Jewel returned to her roots with the release of her debut country album “Perfectly Clear” in June 2008, which garnered her a spot at No. 1 in the Billboard country album charts.

Jewel has spent a lot of time in Nashville over the last few years and has naturally been drawn to and accepted by the town’s music community. She hosted the country reality show “Nashville Star” and has made a number of appearances at Muzik Mafia events.

In 2010 she maintained her country roots with the follow-up album, Sweet and Wild, which she wrote and produced. Her love ballad “Satisfied” received a Grammy nomination for “Best Female Country Vocal Performance.”

In 2011 Jewel, and her husband, World Champion bull-riding superstar Ty Murray, welcomed their first child to the world with the birth of Kase Townes. She has recently delved into the world of children’s music and her album, The Merry Goes Round, which was written and inspired during her pregnancy, was named the iTunes “Children’s Album of the Year” in 2011.

Near and dear to Jewel’s heart is her charitable initiative, Project Clean Water. Jewel founded Project Clean Water in 1997. Having experienced homelessness as a teenager, Jewel became ill and couldn’t afford to buy the bottled water she needed for her sick kidneys. She then came to realize it was difficult to obtain clean water in the United States, and discovered it was a huge problem globally. She has been relentless in her efforts to bring safe water to those in need and create awareness of clean water shortages around the world.

Tickets for this special show are sold out.

For more information visit sheridanoperahouse.com or jeweljk.com.

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Kathrine Warren

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