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Singer/Songwriter Janis Ian to Perform at Ramapo College

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)September 20, 2001

(Mahwah) – Singer/songwriter Janis Ian, who burst onto the music scene at age 15 with her controversial saga of interracial love, “Society’s Child,” will perform in concert at Ramapo College of New Jersey Saturday, October 20 at 8 p.m. in the Sharp Theater.

Nine Grammy nominations and 17 albums after she first topped the charts, Ian continues to write and perform songs that change the landscape. Her debut album, 1967’s Janis Ian, garnered her the first of her nine Grammy nominations to date. She achieved a new level of popularity in the 1970s with her trio of masterpieces Stars (1973), Between the Lines (1975) and Aftertones (1976). The first contained “Jesse” which became a pop standard after Roberta Flack recorded it. The second contained “At Seventeen,” which sold over a million copies and earned Ian her first two Grammy Awards. The third was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of its day and featured Ian’s friends Odetta and Phoebe Snow as supporting vocalists.

Ian entered the ’80s with the international disco hit “Fly Too High,” a song featured on the soundtrack of the Jodie Foster movie Foxes. This was one of several film-music ventures. Ian has either scored or contributed title tunes to such movies as The Bell Jar (1979), Virus (1980) and Falling From Grace (1992), among others. She also has contributed to such television projects as the hit series Murder She Wrote, and the ABC Movie of the Week Freedom, and her songs have been featured on shows as diverse as The Simpsons and General Hospital.

She won her next Grammy Award for children’s music because of her work on the 1982 album In Harmony 2. The Recording Academy also has recognized her as a jazz artist by nominating her for a 1981 Grammy with Mel Torme as Best Vocal Duet for their recording of Ian’s song “Silly Habits.” Her songs have been recorded by everyone from Stan Getz to Bette Midler, from Glen Campbell to Vanilla Fudge, from Cher to Hugh Masakela, from Joan Baez to Etta James. She was among the guitarists chosen to salute the legendary Chet Atkins at an all-star gala this year. “I get told a lot, ‘You play like a guy,’ and I’m not quite sure I know what that means,” she says. “I do know that back when I started, women just didn’t play. They might strum along and accompany themselves, but they weren’t players. So when people see me live for the first time, it’s always this big surprise to them.”

Ian stopped recording in 1982, convinced that her “writing was going down the drain.” She spent the next 10 years studying with Stella Adler and other stage luminaries in Los Angeles, and learning to be a writer again.” In 1993 she returned with a full collection of new material, Breaking Silence. It was nominated for a Grammy as Contemporary Folk Album of the Year. Two years later came Revenge, nominated as Pop Album of the Year at the Nashville Music Awards. In 1997 she was signed by Windham Hill Records and released the critically-acclaimed Hunger. God & the FBI, released in 2000, marks her 17th album. In addition to her heavy touring schedule, her songwriting and her various charity projects, Ian writes a monthly column for Performing Songwriter magazine.

Tickets for Ian’s Ramapo College performance are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and $10 for students with a valid I.D. For information or to order tickets, please call (201) 684-7844. The Sharp Theater is located in the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts.


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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