LOGAN, UT â€” The Cache Valley Center for the Arts presents JANIS IAN on MARCH 22 & 23, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ellen Eccles Theatre. A brilliant songwriter; Ianâ€™s work made her one of the early innovators of the singer-songwriter style and the creator of many masterpieces including Jesse, Societyâ€™s Child, and her 1975 album At Seventeen. Catapulted into fame at the age of 15, her career has led her to a total of 9 Grammy nominations, two Grammy wins, and a life-long hunger to write. The singer, guitarist and songwriter will perform live in concert for two nights only as part of CVCAâ€™s Performing Arts Series.
â€œJanis Ianâ€™s music moved a generation. The world during the 60â€™s and 70â€™s was constantly changing and Janis Ian provided a voice for the rock revolution,â€ said Wally Bloss, executive director for the Cache Valley Center for the Arts. â€œIan motivated a generation to be passionate about politics and life. Her thought provoking lyrics & music showcase the power music embodies to stir up change.â€
Ian was born April 7, 1951, and started playing the guitar at age ten. Her first song was written at twelve and recorded on her first album for Verve-Folkways in 1965, which also featured her first hit, Societyâ€™s Child, a song about interracial romance that catapulted her into fame at the early age of 15. The song ignited controversy from coast to coast, resulting in the burning of a radio station, the firing of disc jockeys that played it, and a generation hungering for the truth.
With her family under surveillance by the FBI during the Cold War era, Ian grew up looking over her shoulder. By the age of 16, she was a regular performer at the Gaslight in Greenwich Village, had played to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall and was nominated for a Grammy â€” all while living with her parents and younger brother in their Upper West Side apartment. A versatile and talented performer, known for her â€œsubstance, depth and musicalityâ€ (New York Times), Ian refused to be pigeonholed as a â€œprotest singer.â€ Her 1975 hit At Seventeen, an anthem about teenaged angst, brought her five Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards. She performed it on the first-ever episode of Saturday Night Live that October.
Ian has been the voice of a generation in two different periods of her life. Fans who grew up during the early rock years already know the artist, her early hits and soulful voice. A great American songwriter of the 1960s and â€™70s, she wrote Jesse, possibly the best song ever written about the life of a performer, recorded by artists as diverse as Mel Torme and Cher. Ian took a break at the age of eighteen, retiring to Philadelphia for three years to return with the stunning â€œStarsâ€ album in 1973, and went on to cover the decade with number one records worldwide. Her follow-up to â€œBetween the Linesâ€, titled â€œAftertonesâ€, was #1 in Japan for an astonishing six months, a record still unbroken by a female artist. â€œNight Rainsâ€, featuring the Giorgio Moroder collaboration â€œFly Too Highâ€, managed to go platinum throughout Europe, Africa, and Australia.
In 1983, after ten unbroken years of making records and touring, Ian took an unprecedented nine year hiatus from the visible music world, studying acting with the legendary Stella Adler and â€œin general, learning how to be a personâ€. During that period, she married and divorced, suffered two emergency surgeries, lost all her savings and home to an unscrupulous business manager, and moved to Nashville, TN in 1988 â€œpenniless, in debt, and hungry to writeâ€. She returned to the music business with 1992â€™s â€œBreaking Silenceâ€, which immediately garnered her ninth Grammy nomination. A new generation is discovering her formidable talent through her two-CD autobiography of songs, Best of Janis Ian, and book, Societyâ€™s Child, in which she candidly discusses her roller-coaster life. Ian provides fascinating insights into the craft of songwriting and amusing anecdotes about carousing with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The personal material is equally gripping, in a soap-operatic way, rife with betrayals, sexual intrigue, danger and madness. Both the book and the CD set offer an outspoken look behind the scenes, not just of her life, but of the music industry as well.
While her counterparts, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, met early deaths, Ian survived despite challenges â€” unsuccessful abusive relationships with both men and women, health crises, financial problems and a nine-year hiatus from the music business. In 1992, she staged her musical comeback with Grammy-nominated Breaking Silence. Since then she has enjoyed CDs, a book, tours and many speaking engagements.
Ian is still touring in cabaret-style venues and haunting people with a voice that stands alone or with her guitar. Ella Fitzgerald called her â€œThe best young singer in Americaâ€. Chet Atkins said â€œSinger? You ought to hear that girl play guitar; she gives me a run for my money!â€ Reviewers have called her live performances â€œoverwhelming to the spirit and soulâ€, and â€œdrenched with such passion, the audience feels theyâ€™ve been swept up in a hurricane.â€ Not to mention her short stories, her songs for film and televisionâ€¦ and oh, yes. She also runs a foundation that works with various universities and colleges to supply scholarships for returning students; theyâ€™ve raised over $300,000 to date!
For those â€œwho learned the truth at 17,â€ Ian is a champion of â€œugly duckling girls,â€ a woman whose spirit and soul have triumphed over beauty queens. For more information, visit www.janisian.com.
Tickets for this performance are $17-$27, with a wide variety of discounts including: Tickets can be purchased by calling the CVCA Ticket office or online anytime without any additional fees at www.EllenEcclesTheatre.org. The Cache Valley Center for the Arts Ticket Office in the Bullen Center at 43 South Main.
This tour is made possible through the Performing Arts season at the Cache Valley Center for the Arts and the generous support from this shows sponsors including: Conservice utility management & billing; Cache Valley Radio Group â€“ KOOL 103.90; Caffe Ibis â€“ A Gallery, deli, cafÃ©; ICON Health & Fitness, Inc.; Watkins Printing. The 2010-2011 CVCA Season is made possible in part by funds from the George S. and Dolores DorÃ© Eccles Foundation; Marie Eccles Caine Foundation â€“ Russell Family; Cache County Restaurant/RAPZ Tax Funds, Logan City Cultural Arts Grant; Utah Division of Arts & Museums & the National Endowment for the Arts; and Wasatch Logan Arts Foundation.
For more info about the Cache Valley Center for the Arts visit www.CacheArts.org. The Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and one hour prior to all show times.