Singer-songwriter Janis Ian is in high demand.
Currently on tour throughout the U.S., Ian is set to perform two sold out concerts in Davie at the River of Grass Café on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. Both shows start at 8 p.m.
One of the reasons for the strong interest in Ian’s work may be the Grammy award she received in February 2013. She won for the audio version of her autobiography Society’s Child in the category of Best Spoken Word Album.
The award complements Ian’s remarkable career. In 1975, she won a Grammy for Best Pop Female Vocalist for her song, “At Seventeen.” Between the Lines, the album on which “At Seventeen” appeared, also won a Grammy for Best Engineered Recording. In addition, Ian has received seven Grammy nominations throughout the years — the first one when she was fifteen years old, for Best Folk Performance in 1966.
But the nominations without the wins provided a more insightful lesson for Ian. As she stated on the Grammy website: “I’d gotten used to being a really good loser.”
In an interview with SFGN, Ian added that losing “teaches you resiliency,” that winning awards actually makes one realize “you can always be better,” and that the “other people in the category… are just as worthy” of the award.
When asked to reflect on her first Grammy from 1975, Ian told SFGN that “the first one was a new beginning… I was really young and had worked very hard to re-establish myself as a songwriter and singer in people’s minds.”
Ian views her latest Grammy as “a step on the road towards whatever’s next.”
“It’s great that it’s in the spoken word category, and it’s great to bring a musician into that category. is an area I’m interested in,” she said.
Ian has three forthcoming audio books, including a children’s book and audio book The Tiny Mouse.
“It’s about a little mouse that runs away to sea, becomes sea sick and has to go home,” she shared. She is also writing a novel and a book of short stories.
Another ongoing project is The Pearl Foundation, a nonprofit established by Ian and her partner Patricia Snyder to fund scholarships for returning students. The foundation is named after Ian’s late mother, who had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and later completed her undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Goddard College.
“We are interested in funding complete scholarships,” said Ian. This includes books and other expenses. The Pearl Foundation currently funds scholarships at Goddard, the University of Tennessee College of Law, Berea College, and Warren Wilson College.
Ian reported that over the past ten years the foundation has raised nearly $700,000.
As Ian considered the audiences for her current tour, she noted that “the Grammy brought out a lot of older fans.” But there are also “young writers, guitarists, musicians. It’s really gratifying passing on what I’ve learned.”
There’s also the “core gay audience who stop by after the show, thanking me for coming out when I did .”
Audiences in South Florida are also “a good audience” with “an element of gratitude.”
“I always like coming to Florida,” Ian said. “It’s one of the prettiest states.”
Janis Ian shows in Davie are SOLD OUT.
If you have tickets to Janis IanWhen:Friday, May 3 & Saturday, May 4
Doors open 7:30 p.m.
Open SeatingWhere:River of Grass Café at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation
11850 W. State Road 84, Suite 1Davie, Florida 33325For more information:954-723-7877