Jewel

Jewel, who has called Telluride home for several years, will play two benefit shows at the Sheridan Opera House Dec. 28. (Courtesy photo)

The Sheridan Opera House recently announced the final show in its Holiday Concert Series, as none other than Jewel will play Dec. 28. She’s called Telluride home for the past several years and periodically plays at the tiny historic venue, with ticket sales benefitting the Sheridan Arts Foundation, the nonprofit that owns and operates the 106-year-old venue, and other organizations that are near and dear to her heart.

Jewel — a singer-songwriter, author, jewelry maker and poet — will play two shows as part of the concert series at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The 8 p.m. show is already sold out, but there were some tickets left for the 5:30 p.m. show, as of press time Wednesday afternoon. Be sure to visit sheridanoperahouse.com for tickets and more information about the shows and a special fundraising dinner she’s hosting the night before.

I had the chance to catch up with Jewel to learn more about what she’s been up to

and her organization the Never Broken Foundation.

 

Kathrine Warren: What first brought you to the Telluride area, and what made you decide to put down roots here?

Jewel: I was taking a motorcycle trip across the country and immediately fell in love with Telluride. I’ve met so many soulful people with good intentions and there is such a strong sense of community. That’s the number one reason, the ease of community.

I love Telluride and I’m so grateful to this community for making it my home.

 

KW: All proceeds from your shows at the Sheridan Opera House benefit three organizations, the Never Broken Foundation, the Mountain School and the Sheridan Arts Foundation. Why did you choose these three organizations?

Jewel: I began developing mindfulness skills to solve my anxiety when I was a teenager and feel it saved my life. I always wondered why mindfulness skills weren’t taught in school. Our inner-city programs and the jewelneverbroken.com website does just that, bringing physical, emotional and mental health to at-risk youth and adults for free.

Our inner-city programs offer mentoring, project-driven learning, mindfulness, entrepreneur skills, high-level academics and tennis — everything a child needs to become a whole human.

Being a mom, I also want this positive educational and inspirational environment for my son. I’ve seen the best schools in the country, and when I got to experience the Telluride Mountain School as a parent and through the eyes of my son, I was so grateful that this wholistic and cutting edge learning exists in our amazing community. It deserves to be supported so those who can’t afford it can get a chance.

The arts heals and inspires hearts. Writing and singing gave me a voice long before I became famous. I love the Sheridan Opera House and its foundation, it’s a historic treasure in our community. I love helping preserve its history and making sure other artists and fans can enjoy it. This venue has been a tremendous resource to other nonprofits, organizations and our community at large.

 

KW: I really admire the work you've been doing with mindfulness. When did you start to develop that work through Never Broken, and how has that been received by your fans?

Jewel: I started exploring mindfulness roughly 30 years ago long before I even knew what it was or had ever heard of the term. I developed different mindfulness techniques as a child as a survival mechanism. Then, when I wrote my book, everyone kept asking me how I got through my adversity, so I decided I wanted to create jewelneverbroken.com, in partnership with Mindfulness Research expert  Dr. Judson Brewer from Yale University and The Inspiring Children Foundation. It has 3-minute exercises that will rewire your brain and help you make a habit out of happiness, if you practice them.

The response has been incredible. We get so many emails from people telling us it “saved their life.” I was shocked. I never expected that response from this website. Then we just finished our third music, food and wellness festival that focuses on physical, emotional and mental health, in hopes of bringing these tools to the masses, through my music, my business and nonprofit programs.

 

KW: You recently released your first new single in four years, "No More Tears," which is off the soundtrack for the documentary "Lost in America,"which you co-produced. How did you become involved in the film?  

Jewel: Homelessness is reaching epic proportions in society right now, and I am compelled to be a part of finding a solution. It starts with awareness. When I was homeless living out of my car and on the streets of San Diego, there were emotional tools I began to cultivate that changed my life and my circumstances. I really wanted to raise awareness of how so many children and families are a paycheck away from homelessness, and how it really happens. I want those children on the streets to know they aren’t alone and there is hope.

 

KW: “No More Tears” is piano ballad, can opera house audiences expect a piano to be a part of your show in December?

Jewel: You know, I never plan my shows, so we will just see. The opera house is intimate, and I feel very close to this community. I truly can’t wait. I’ll be bringing up my father (Atz Kilcher from reality TV show “Alaska: The Last Frontier”) who has become one of my personal heroes and taught me much of what I know. And my brother Atz Lee, who’s a wonderful musician.

 

KW: Music fans have been lucky enough to see you on stage with many different artists over the past few years, from George Clinton to Steve Poltz. From your perspective, what do you think makes the Telluride music and festival scene so special?

Jewel: It’s authentic. The community is humble, kind and truly cares. It’s not easy to get here, so those who do make the trek are a special breed looking for a meaningful experience. That depth makes Telluride special. Plus, it’s one of the prettiest places in America.

 

KW: I really admire the work you've been doing with mindfulness. When did you start to develop that work through Never Broken, and how has that been received by your fans?

Jewel: I started exploring mindfulness roughly 30 years ago long before I even knew what it was or had ever heard of the term. I developed different mindfulness techniques as a child as a survival mechanism. Then, when I wrote my book, everyone kept asking me how I got through my adversity, so I decided I wanted to create jewelneverbroken.com, in partnership with Mindfulness Research expert  Dr. Judson Brewer from Yale University and The Inspiring Children Foundation. It has 3-minute exercises that will rewire your brain and help you make a habit out of happiness, if you practice them.

The response has been incredible. We get so many emails from people telling us it “saved their life.” I was shocked. I never expected that response from this website. Then we just finished our third music, food and wellness festival that focuses on physical, emotional and mental health, in hopes of bringing these tools to the masses, through my music, my business and nonprofit programs.

Editor’s note: This interview was edited for length.