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By Gary wien

Virtually every singer-songwriter from New Jersey has been compared to Bruce Springsteen at one time or another. That's a pretty unfair comparison but it's not even close to the unjust world female musicians like Jodelle face every day. Imagine being a female musician that plays piano?

It's hard to find one that doesn't inspire comparisons with Tori Amos - regardless of what she sounds like. If she plays piano, she sounds like Tori Amos period. Of course that's as ridiculous as lumping every Jersey singer-songwriter into the Springsteen genre.

It's kind of strange because guys who play piano in the rock and roll world (names like Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, etc.) are hardly ever lumped together. But for musicians like Jodelle it's a way of life.

"I think people just need a familiar artist to kind of get them started on being interested in you," said Jodelle. "I personally don't like compairing myself to anyone because I don't think I'm exactly like anybody. I'm really not like Tori Amos. I mean, she's amazing and I'd like to think of myself as talented, but I'm different than her. It's a difficult situation when you're forced to compare yourself to someone."

Tori Amos is definitely one of the influences in Jodelle's music, but she counts artists like Joni Mitchell, Fiona Apple, and Sarah McLachlan among the list as well. She believes her music is actually a combination of all of these artists and one listen to her new CD, The Adventures of Jodelle, will most likely have you agreeing.

The CD is named after a long out-of-print comic book that came out in the 1960s. She was able to find a used copy and actually tracked down the original author, who let her have permission to use the images within her CD release.

"Jodelle was the main character," she explained. "She was kind of a spy hero or wonder woman type of person. For a brief moment I thought it would be cool to take on that character and come out for my shows dressed like her. I really don't look like her actually. I have red hair, but I'm wearing a wig for the photos. But after thinking about it and talking with some people, I decided I shouldn't do that because I could get stuck with people always expecting it. It's like Marilyn Manson - he always has to walk around looking like that. It's part of his persona now."

This CD is Jodelle's first full-length release. She previously released an 4-song EP entitled "Find Me If You Can". You can hear clips of every song on each record at her website - lyrics for each song are also available online.

Her lyrics deal with loneliless, relationships, depression, hopes and dreams, desires and fears. Her words are like poetry, but not quite to the obscurity of someone like a Tori Amos. Jodelle is accessible.

Some of her accessibility may stem from a woman that influenced her work from an early age, in fact it's somebody that inspired her to reach for the stage. That person was Stevie Nicks.

"People have mixed feelings about her, but she was one of the first rock and roll women that I would listen to," said Jodelle. "I would listen to her and watch her videos and feel like, 'wow! I want to be a rock star like that!' She'd be on stage twirling around with her big cape and her big flowing outfits and it was just so cool!"

Jodelle's recent shows in New York City are beginning to get a little buzz going about her work. One reviewer said, "New Jersey's secret is now New York's discovery". Her goal is to create a buzz throughout the tri-state area and shows like her upcoming stop at the Saint in Asbury Park on May 17th should help her achieve that goal. Jodelle will be part of a special acoustic festival with other female artists like Sheryl D, April Smith, Melissa Chill, and Judd & Maggie.

Once you see hear Jodelle's music you'll discover what a great talent she really is. And the adventures for this Jersey girl are just beginning...

State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Cirque Dreams Holidaze on Friday, December 7 at 8:00pm, Saturday, December 8 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday, December 9 at 2:00pm. Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a division of Cirque du Soleil, has become a critically acclaimed, state-of-the-art Broadway musical, and a fun-filled, holiday family show. Tickets range from $35-$98.
NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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