HOME SWEET HOME
Welcome home. The home of who I am, what I've done, and the history of my music career. After getting through some serious family illnesses, the reality of how short life really is, it's time to 'let it all out' and celebrate a wonderful journey through my musical career as a singer, songwriter, dancer and even actor.
October 11, 2019, I released my first music video of the title track of my country CD, "Never Say Never", which is available for purchase on iTunes and CDBaby. I've had many requests for signing then personally, and am happy to do that versus downloads. My "Never Say Never" music video is on You Tube.
My country CD was previously released for purchase, but, due to troubling times during that time, there has been a delay in releasing singles until October 2019. My apologies, but, sometimes life just happens and I've learned to celebrate what happens when it's supposed to happen. I have a much more interesting story. And fired up and proud of my CD, now is that time for me. I had previously been #1 on the country charts on Reverb Nation and offered a record deal in Los Angeles.
I'm beginning to share more things, different things, and things I consider more honorable than my tours or record deals, things I have done and words music industry giants have said to me. These experiences are what my heart considers my greatest accomplishments. I share some of my stories about my career here, and some of the most popular credentials to my life's work, but for those who want good bedtime stories, go to the page with Prince, Fleetwood Mac and Don Henley and read about those experiences, along with Sheena Easton.
I completely understand and support you not reading all of this. I get it. But, for those who find my untold history fun, here you go for the first time.
I don't have statues, awards, millions, or fame. With all of my music history, I've never been considered for any accolades in Minnesota or even a part of the Prince Tributes. But, I don't live by that. I live by my memories, photos and recordings. What I have are experiences that are unlike anybody in the world. I grew up a pastor's kid and community service was my family's heart, not money or attention. I'm not the kind of woman who believes much in fake it 'til you make it. That always felt dishonest. I didn't puff up and act like I was all that or anything and I still don't. It feels like every compliment is the first time I've heard it.
I keep working hard and having fun and it's still a wonderful career.
Table of Contents for my "Prince, Fleetwood Mac, Don Henley page".
1. The Prince Experience
2. The Stevie Nicks Experience
3. The Fleetwood Mac Experience
4. The Sheena Easton Experience
5. The Don Henley Experience
Here, on this "Home Sweet Home" page, this is what's below.
6. My Resume If I Didn't Write Blogs Here
7. The Solo Artist Years
8. Beautiful Life with Friends and Family Off the Road
9. Where I traveled for Music
10. Jana and The One, My Beloved Santa Barbara Band
11. Working for Hall of Fame Songwriter, Jeff Barry
My Resume if I didn't write blogs above:
I've toured the globe with Fleetwood Mac for 7 years, Don Henley for 7 years, worked at Paisley Park elbow to elbow with Prince for 5 years (he was usually the engineer and producer next to me), I had a big pop dance record deal with Sony Music in New York with hit songwriter Oliver Leiber and signed by the Vice President of A&R, offered a record deal for my country CD in L.A.(my latest music baby titled "Never Say Never" on iTunes complete with a duet with legend, Eddie Money, produced by the amazingly talented bassist and songwriter and all around great guy, Don Cromwell, and about to be signed by the president and Vice President until the president of the label's injury ruined that), and also offered a record deal for my jazz CD (a CD I produced myself) through a connection of Sheena Easton's manager, and I turned down the record deal to tour with and record their concert DVD and TV shows of the legendary Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks.
I have played at least 4 or 5 mayoral or governor inaugurations. The most memorable was Jesse Ventura at the Target Center with Synergy. I sang lead on "A Whole New World" with Bruce Henry. We opened with a bang, Synergy band was on point, and it was a sold out event. Watching our new governor walk down through the crowd in wrestling clothes and earrings at his Governor's Inauguration was something to see.
In fact, Synergy is a band I've sung lead in since it's inception. Dick Whitbeck was the leader and musical director of the original Rupert's Orchestra (many have lied to ride the coattails of Dick Whitbeck's legacy), but, we are the original and real deal and he has brought that band around the world and we have about 20 'Best of" Awards for best band in Minnesota in 2 major magazines here. Singing lead at all the biggest and best parties has been a true honor.
I've sung countless commercials, mostly for Terry Esau, including Valleyfair, Polaris, SuperValu, Cost Cutters, Edina Realty, Pepsi, KARE TV News, and many others.
Only a few years ago, I starred in a musical at a theater downtown Minneapolis with major actors, including from major star motion pictures, an Oscar nominee and another veteran of the theater. I didn't ask for the audition, they asked for me. That musical is called "Stained Glass". I had been the demo singer for the off Broadway production years before, and they decided I would act in it 7 years after my recordings brought the musical around the country.
The lead singer of "Air Supply", Russell Hitchcock gave me huge encouragement, taking me to the side of the stage to talk to me the moment I finished my last song as he attended my country CD concert.
I got to sing background vocals for Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Paul Simon, The Time, Mary Wilson, Brian Wilson, Michael Bolton, and sing a duet with Eddie Money on my iTunes CD titled "Never Say Never" on the song titled "Buried In the Sun". When I sang in Los Angeles with Paul Simon as his background vocalist, he had me sing a solo in the middle of his song.
The Solo Artist Years from Before:
I had a record deal production deal with hit songwriter and producer of Paul Abdul hits "Forever Your Girl", "Opposites Attract" and "The Way That You Love Me" while they were on the radio, and his name is Oliver Leiber, and we signed with Sony Music New York. I was signed by the Vice President of A&R. It was going great, set to launch my career, when Oliver was unable to complete the album due to personal reasons. That ended that. I moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to complete the album and then moved back to Minneapolis again before moving out east to pursue music some more.
When that ended I moved to the New York area and moved forward to another great multi hit songwriter (he co-wrote "Vision of Love", "Love Takes Time", "Someday" and other songs with Mariah Carey) and I wrote about 25 songs with this guy who discovered her that still remain unheard due to fear (typical story of the music business) I rose above to move on. I have, what I call, a letter from the dead, from someone that lived with him explaining what he did to her and she passed away only 2 weeks after contacting me to meet and talk about that time. But, I moved forward, as I always do.
I have other original songs that are still sending me royalty checks that I co-wrote and sang on, and they continue to be chosen out of 10's of thousands in a music library. They are played and licensed for TV and Movies around the world.
I've sung and/or danced on The Tonight Show several times, The Today Show several times, The View, Regis and Kathie Lee, The VH-1 Countdown, The Paul Rodriguez Show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Soul Train, and many more.
I still love singing and entertaining, dancing and doing my best to make people happy even more than the first day I stepped on stage as a professional. I'm in several multi award winning bands to hire for weddings, events, awards shows, parties of all kinds. (Be careful of who you hire because there are a lot of false advertising bands out there for your dream event and they send you people not on their websites just to fulfill the contract.) The bands I'm in, almost all of us in the picture on the website, we are what you're hiring with very few subs.
Beautiful Life of Music, Family and Friends off the Road and Not Touring:
I'm currently enjoying my family and friends immensely off the road. I love going out for dinner with friends and family, growing flowers, the lakes of Minnesota, biking, skiing, hiking, cooking, writing, and photography. The people in my life and heart make my life wonderful!
I sing in 2 super fun dance bands that anyone anywhere would love if they like a variety of music. One is a funk horn band with R&B and soul music and is very high energy called "High and Mighty".
The other is a horn band with legendary singers and it has funk music, but also pop dance, jazz, soul and a little more of a variety called "Synergy". Synergy has won "Best of" about 20 times in Minnesota.
I'm also in 3 tribute bands that sell out 2 nights in famous theaters in Minneapolis. One is "River", the music of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. Another is "Almost Paradise: 1984 Prom Night", an 80's tribute that is complete with costumes and choreography from 1984 and people laugh until they cry and sing along all night. Those who shows are produced by lifelong friend, Deb Brown. We are perfect for theaters, theme parties or anywhere tribute shows are embraced. They sell out.
And the third is the "Tribute to Aretha Franklin" with 2 other local legends in Minneapolis and that band and singers are the "Synergy" band. They are all amazing shows.
Where I Traveled for Music:
I've sung around the world as a lead singer and background singer. Places include going all over Europe, Australia several times, New Zealand, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Puerto Rico several times, all over the United States (including the exclusive 5 star resorts in Hawaii), all over Canada, and Hong Kong and Japan a few times each.
Jana and The One, My Beloved Santa Barbara Band:
We still sold out the two biggest events in Santa Barbara just a few years ago.
I have a band in Santa Barbara called "Jana and The One". We played all the top parties and also warmed up for "The Spinners" and "Ambrosia". The lead singer of all the hits with Ambrosia, David Pack, had my band warm up for them and then had me sing background vocals on 3 of their hit songs and traded add libs with me at the end. That was an honor of a lifetime and a blast because he's a phenomenal singer. David and I had a 3 hour conversation on the phone after that concert. Memorable parties always include Nancy Toldridge hiring us for many "Zoofari Balls", singing for the wedding of the producer of the American Pie movies, singing for the creator and producer of Magnum P.I., Jag and many other hit TV shows, singing for the Black and Blue Ball where I met Gary Busey, and singing for Star Telecom, the biggest parties from a man worth nearly half a billion at the time, along with gorgeous vineyard wedding receptions and Rose Story Farm. I was featured in the newspaper or TV for interviews often. Santa Barbara will always be in my heart like Minneapolis is today.
Working For Hall of Fame Songwriter, Jeff Barry:
Hall of Fame songwriter, Jeff Barry, made me the vocal arranger for his concert of celebrities that came back to sing hits he had with them for one night only. Jeff first saw me singing in a bar, which is where almost every big experience first found me. Jeff had me sing a demo for a song he co-wrote with Jed Leiber. They are both legends. Jeff had me help run the vocal side of all his theater shows in Santa Barbara where I had him hire amazing background singers to the stars and my friends, Melanie Taylor and Mindy Stein. We sang background vocals in his show where Jeff brought back many of the stars that made his songs famous. We sang with stars, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Ran Dante of "Sugar Sugar", Ronnie Spector, songs like Chapel of Love, The Theme from The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, Doo Wah Ditty, Da Doo Ron Ron, and River Deep Mountain High. I was asked to sing lead on "Leader of the Pack", which was a true honor since I was the only unknown singer that night. Jeff remains a dear friend.
I've pretty much done everything a singer can do in the music industry except be famous or have a hit song. As you've read if you've gotten this far, or read the other pages on this website, well, it's not for lack of working hard or trying.
My heart, soul, passion and great work ethic have taken me far.
I have many more stories, but, this is my first go telling all of this this way, so I'll update this website at a later date. Check out the other pages if you want more juice.
To end this page for now, below is where I'll stop. My baby is my country CD now.
The Solo Artist Years Now:
I have a country CD titled "Never Say Never" on iTunes and CD Baby. Legendary rock star, Eddie Money sings a duet with me on that CD titled "Buried In the Sun". I'd say it's most compared to the rock country style of Carrie Underwood or Martina McBride. I have a couple music videos I share on this website for "One Way Road" and "Home" and I'm in the process of creating more videos.
My new email address where you can reach me is and I will receive those emails.
I'm happy to be hired to sing my jazz CD, my country CD, open for anyone, be the main act, continue touring and sing for almost any event, and, you can hire me by contacting me and asking for any of the shows I'm in and I will contact the bandleaders and managers of those bands. I know that with all the different bands, whatever event you'd have, I know which band to hire to make you happy. Basically, I've put in my time with several musical styles and they all feel like home. So, welcome home! Love, Jana