Table of Contents

  1. Biography
    1. The Very Early Years
    2. The Rest
  2. Random Questions
    1. Is Jewel her real name?
    2. Where was Jewel really born?
    3. Didn't I hear something about Jewel living in Hawaii too?
    4. Does Jewel smoke?
    5. Jewel plays Dorothy?
    6. Jewel and Sean Penn?
    7. Influences
    8. Who has Jewel toured with?
    9. How does Jewel feel about bootlegs and concert taping?
    10. Are Jewel's songs based on personal experiences?
    11. Is the song Little Sister about Jewel's sister?
    12. Is the song Daddy about Jewel's father?
    13. How about Nikos?
    14. Was/is Jewel really a Mormon?
    15. Does she actually yodel too?
    16. Jewel on the net
    17. Does Jewel tour much?
    18. News of new album
    19. What were the early Inner Change shows like?
    20. How long has Jewel been writing songs? poetry?
    21. What is Jewelstock?
  3. Discography Or Graphical Discography
  4. TV Appearances
  5. Jewel Performance Chronology
  6. Recognition, Awards & Charts
  7. Other tidbits
  8. Websites

Jewel - A Quick Biography

The Very Early Years

Jewel was born May 23, 1974.

The Rest

She was raised on an 800-acre homestead in Homer, Alaska. Since the age of five she has been performing, starting out with her parents doing numbers for tourists, in Eskimo villages, etc. Her junior and senior years of high school were spent at Interlochen Fine Arts Academy in Michigan. This is an expensive private school, and 70% of Jewel's tuition was paid for by a vocal scholarship. She thought she'd be going to sing the blues, but they had her sing opera instead. The remainder of the expenses were raised at what turned out to be Jewel's first solo concert. The citizens of Homer were supportive enough to cover the rest of the first year tuition, and summer jobs filled the gap the next year.

After high school, Jewel came to San Diego to stay with her mom. After a brief sojourn to Colorado, she returned to San Diego, which she now calls home. She worked a variety of jobs including waitressing, but generally lost them when her interest in chatting with the customers surpassed her desire to do the actual job. Eventually she decided that working unfulfilling dead-end jobs was an unbearable way to live. She moved into her VW van, and with lots of peanut butter, carrot sticks, and a guitar, settled down to write songs. She soon started performing to sparse crowds at a coffeehouse in Pacific Beach called the Inner Change. (This was probably early 1993 by now.) Word started to spread, and soon she had a regular Thursday night spot and an ever growing audience. Her name began to show up in the local press and she nabbed a few choice opening spots. She took an extended trip back to Homer at the end of the year, and things really took off when she returned in early 1994.

At the start of the year, the coffeehouse was roughly 60% full, and a mere $3 got you a 3-4 hour set of original material, with the only exception being an occasional cover of Tracy Chapman's "Behind the Wall". Always a prolific, versatile songwriter, Jewel regularly debuted a handful of new songs at each show. These shows were a hotbed of local acoustic talent, and Jewel was regularly joined by frequent collaborator Steve Poltz (lead singer of the Rugburns). Fellow Rugburns Rob Driscoll and Gregory Page also joined them, as well as other local musicians including Joy Eden Harrison and Byron Nash. Everyone who saw her must have told five friends, since each week the crowd continued to grow. Soon, people were being turned away, while a few hardy souls could be seen staring through the large windows at the packed house inside.

Around this time, the news of the young (19!) singer had gotten to L.A., and record executives started driving down to sleepy San Diego to catch the shows. They immediately recognized the quality of what they were seeing, and soon the limos were directed towards Jewel's van/home. After a brief courtship, she was signed to Atlantic Records, and started making the trek up to L.A. looking for producers and musicians to record with. The advance on the record enabled Jewel to rent a house with her mother, a new car (a used Volvo) and a new guitar (a steal due to an imperfection in the finish).

All this added exposure continued to draw crowds to the Inner Change, which first added a second show, and then upped the admission price to $5. By this time, Jewel had written over a hundred songs. On July 28 and 29, 1994, a sound crew descended on the Inner Change to record 4 sets of Jewel on her home stomping grounds. All the live recordings on Pieces of You come from those two sessions. (Notably absent is a brilliant bongo accompanied version of Sometimes It Be That Way. Maybe someone can steal that tape from Atlantic's archives?)

By this time, Jewel had outgrown the tiny Inner Change and began looking for larger venues to play in. She ended up doing two shows at the Wikiup Cafe in Hillcrest. A whirlwind of activity followed in preperation for the release of Jewel's first album. This included a series of residency tours where she would play four different coffee shops in four different cities for four weeks, building up a fan base much like she did in San Diego.

Jewel's first album, Pieces of You, was released February 28, 1995. A CD Release Party was held at the Hahn Cosmopolitan Theater in her adopted hometown of San Diego. It consisted of two sold out performances. A review of the performance is available Pieces of Jewel Article Page at http://www.piecesofjewel.com/infopages/jarticles.htm

Random Questions:

Is Jewel her real name?

Yes, her full name is Jewel Kilcher. She has no middle name.

Is Jewel her real name?

Most people have read a couple different things on Jewel's birthplace....maybe even heard Jewel say it herself? Well, all the known info is a bit fuzzy. The FACTS are that she was born at Payson Hospital in St George, Utah. Nowhere else....Not Homer, Alaska or Payson, Utah.

Didn't I hear something about Jewel living in Hawaii too?

When Jewel was 12 she convinced her parents to let her "see more of the world" by spending some time with an aunt in Hawaii. Needless to say, the blond Alaskan was quite an anomaly in Hawaii, but Jewel yodeled her way out of any playground disagreements. She was there for a few months and then returned to stay with her mother in Anchorage, Alaska.

Does Jewel smoke? I thought I saw a photo?

Jewel does not smoke or do drugs at all. There is a photo on this website and others that is a bit deceiving. Although it may look like a cigarette, look closely. It is actually a purple lollipop.

What's this about Jewel playing Dorothy?

Jewel was selected to play the role of Dorothy in a benefit production of The Wizard of Oz, held in New York on November 5th, and first airing on TNT November 22. Other performers included Debra Winger as the Wicked Witch, Jackson Brown as the Scarecrow, Roger Daltry as the Tin Man, Nathan Lane as the Cowardly Lion, Natalie Cole as Glinda the Good Witch, Joel Grey as the Wizard, and Luci Arnaz as Auntie Em. Other guests included Phoebe Snow, Ronnie Spector, David Sanborn, and Ry Cooder. The event benefits the Children's Defense Fund. A video and CD of the event have been released.

Is Jewel romantically linked with Sean Penn?

The rumour that won't die. Jewel has repeatedly said they've just been friends. Sean Penn has married the mother of his two children, Robin Wright. Jewel met Penn when Sean wanted her to write a song for his movie Crossing Guard. Sean has been quoted as calling her "the next Bob Dylan," and first found out about Jewel when she first appeared on the Conan O'Brian show.

What are Jewel's musical influences:

Jewel's musical tastes are varied and her influences broad. Notable influences include Ella Fitzgerald, John Prine, Tracy Chapman, Yma Sumac and San Diego-based band The Rugburns (whose lead vocalist Steve Poltz co-wrote several songs with Jewel, two of which, Adrian and You Were Meant for Me, appear on Pieces of You). At various times, Jewel has mentioned the poet Pablo Naruda, Dr. Seuss, and classical philosophers, particularly Plato's Symposium as being influences in her work as well.

Who has Jewel toured with?

Jewel has toured for many different artists, including:
  • Many San Diego artists including The Rugburns, Joy Eden Harrison, Byron Nash, Gregory Page, and Steve Harris
  • Iris DeMent
  • The Story
  • Jeff Buckley
  • Liz Phair
  • Bob Dylan
  • Peter Murphy
  • The Beach Boys
  • Deep Blue Something
  • Catherine Wheel
  • Belly
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • John Hiatt
  • Edwin McCain
  • Duncan Shiek (opened for Jewel on Jewel's first Headlining Tour)
  • Neil Young
  • Rugburns
  • Steve Poltz
  • Rusted Root
  • and the list keeps growing...

How does Jewel feel about bootlegs and concert taping?

First, the definition of bootlegging must be addressed. Bootlegs are illegally produced compact discs that are manufactured and sold for profit without Jewels' consent. Concert taping however has been encouraged by Jewel as a way of distributing her music through her fans on a non-profit basis. Like several other artists, such as Dave Mathews and Metallica, it is believed that this is a good way of promoting the music and expanding the fan base even further. Jewel believes that without this tape base, many of her songs would be lost forever. It is uncertain if it will be allowed in the future however, as she becomes more popular and bigger target for the illegal bootleggers.

In short, please don't buy the bootleg discs. All of these recordings and many, many more are available for free/at cost from other fans.

Are Jewel's songs based on personal experiences?

Some of the songs were inspired by events in her life, and others contain personal tidbits. Many of the songs obviously can't possibly be about her life, and appear to be based on other's lives and her own imagination.

Is the song Little Sister about Jewel's sister?

No, Jewel doesn't have a little sister. She wrote it about a friend's little brother, but didn't want to embarass him.

Is the song Daddy about Jewel's father?

No, Jewel wrote it for a man she knew as a child who wouldn't let his children watch black people on television, and always wondered what kind of effect this had on them.

How about Nikos?

Nikos actually is a true story. Jewel calls it her most autobiographical song to date.

Was/is Jewel really a Mormon?

According to Jewel, she was raised a Mormon until the age of 8.

Does she actually yodel too?

Jewel yodeling is a breathtaking sight. Live she frequently sings a rocked up version of a yodeling song she knew as a child - "Chime Bells". At first it's entertaining to hear yodeling mixed into a song, but as she repeatedly picks up the pace, yodeling at speeds faster than I'd have thought possible, the audience is always left slackjawed or cheering. Maybe this will get officially released some day. On the original release, Jewel avoided novelty or funny songs to avoid being pegged as "the girl who yodels" or "the girl with the cute race car song".

Is Jewel on the net? What's up with this address in the Pieces of You disc?

Pieces of You has the address JewelJK@aol.com listed in it. Jewel does get mail sent to that address, but your chances of getting a response are very slim. Generally, the mail is printed out and sent to Jewel wherever she is on the road. She enjoys getting mail, but is generally a poor correspondent "I don't even write to my father", she claimed. Jewel also told her mom that when it comes to choosing between writing fan mail and writing songs there's no contest!

However, the Jewel list is privileged to have a direct contact with Jewel's management. "Hiranya" is a name chosen by Jewel's manager and mom, Lenedra, and a person who serves as a volunteer but doesn't want to be identified because she doesnt want to become swamped or famous! The name "Hiranya" is Sanskrit and refers to the information about our original purpose, or why we came here. Hiranya is a list member and passes certain information on to Jewel and Lenedra for clarification. She also posts schedule and press information. Whenever the source is Hiranya, the information can be relied on to be as accurate as possible, and is always checked with Lenedra before posting. Hiranya seldom replies to personal mail from list because the volume could become overwhelming.

Does Jewel tour much?

Jewel toured throughout 1995 and 1996 for Pieces of You, doing residency tours the first 3 months of the year, playing at various music festivals, doing her own performances, and touring extensive tours with various artists. August, 1996 was spent opening for Neil Young. She's visited Australia, Europe and did FarmAid in 1997. She's currently promoting her book and will do a few California live shows in November.

News of the new album?

Jewel is currently on album hiatus. Which means no new recordings. She can currently be seen making various live appearances promotion her new book Chasing Down The Dawn, released on October 3rd, 2000.

What were the early Inner Change shows like?

Jewel's early performances were quite unlike her shows now. The later shows were so packed that she often had to walk across the tables to get up to the stage. Lacking the professional polish she's now acquiring, she often rambled off stories and spent quite a large amount of time tuning her guitar (and flaring her nostrils) between songs. Her set lists were often improvised and filled primarily by requests. She inevitably forgot to bring a pick, and when someone from the audience offered her one, she'd complain that it was either too thick or too thin. When anyone would get up to leave (or go to the bathroom), she'd ask "Are you leaving?" and if so, have everyone in the audience say goodbye. She'd play long sets--often up to 3-4 hours, debuting songs she'd just written and stumbling through the lyrics or making them up as she went along. She also inevitably drank water from a large jug, while making jokes about someday receiving a corporate sponsorship from a water company. (She still found it unreal that people had to pay for good drinking water). She ended every show by saying "Remember to blah blah blah blah and always get perfect moments stuck between your teeth."

As the crowds appreciation grew, so did the length of the applause, and Jewel would often blush and say "Stop it, you're embarassing me!" After the show, Jewel would rush to the door, and shake everyone's hand and thank them for coming.

How long has Jewel been writing songs? poetry?

Jewel didn't start writing songs until she was 17, however she has always used writing as an outlet. She's been writing poetry since she was little. The oldest song on Pieces of You is "Don't", which is the fifth song she ever wrote. "I'm Sensitive" was the last song written for the album.

What is Jewelstock?

Jewelstock was the name given to a special fan event held in Woodstock, NY on July 18 & 19, 1996. Jewel agreed to do a free show for her internet fans provided they could come to her. And come they did. From all over country Everyday Angels descended on Jewelstock to gather, listen to, meet Jewel and just have a good time. She performed two shows, the second being a benefit to help raise money for the local theatre. There is more info on the web about this event including pictures, setlists, and stories.


For a graphical discography with images and lengths, visit http://www.piecesofjewel.com/infopages/jdisco.htm

Jewel Performance Chronology

For a complete list of TV and Live appearances, check the Performance Chronology at http://www.piecesofjewel.com/jchrono.htm

TV Appearances

For a complete list of just TV appearances, check TV Appearances at http://www.piecesofjewel.com/jtube.htm

Recognition, Awards & Charts

  • Pieces of You is multi-platinum and still selling better than ever.

  • Jewel's "Who Will Save Your Soul" was nominated in two categories at the MTV Video Music Awards, Best Female Video and Best New Artist. Alanis' Ironic swept both.

  • Jewel's "You Were Meant For Me" won Best Female Video after receiving triple nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards, which also included the Viewers Choice and Video of the Year categories.

  • The first single off Pieces of You "Who Will Save Your Soul" peaked on the charts:
    • #11 Billboard
    • # 3 Rick Dees Top 40
    • # 3 Radio & Records Pop
    • # 6 Radio & Records Hot 20
    • #11 Internet Top 50
    • # 2 VH1 Top 10
    • # 7 MTV Top 20

  • The second single off Pieces of You "You Were Meant For Me" peaked on the charts:
    • # 2 Billboard
    • # 1 Rick Dees Top 40
    • # 1 Radio & Records Pop
    • # 1 Radio & Records Hot 20
    • # 3 Internet Top 50
    • # 1 VH1 Top 10
    • # 2 MTV Top 20

  • Jewel was nominated for Best New Artist at the 1997 American Music Awards, Blockbuster Awards and the Internet Music Awards.

  • Jewel both announced and received Grammy nominations in 1997 for Best Female Pop Vocal and Best New Artist.

Other tidbits:

  • Jewel recorded a version of Eric Carmen's All By Myself, that appears in the movie, Clueless, but unfortunately was not included on the soundtrack.

  • Jewel's song Emily, was included in the new Sean Penn film, Crossing Guard. The song is available on the first You Were Meant for Me promo single.

  • Jewel has a video for "Who Will Save Your Soul" and two for "You Were Meant for Me," The former reaching the Top Ten on both VH-1 and MTV. VH-1's CrossRoads program seems the best place to be able to catch Jewel videos in the US.

  • Jewel also appeared on VH-1's Duets special with Melissa Etheridge. Other guests included Paula Cole, Sophie B. Hawkins, and Joan Osborne. Jewel sang Foolish Games and Sleep While I Drive with Melissa, and the whole gang performed a cover of a Joan Armatrading song.

  • She sings backing vocals on one track, My Old Lover's Mother's House on the Rugburn's album, "Taking the World by Donkey".

  • Jewel does Donovan's "Sunshine Superman" in the film "I Shot Andy Warhol"

  • Jewel covers John Hiatt's "Have A Little Faith In Me" on the "Phenomenon" Soundtrack.

  • Jewel provided "Quiet Warrior" for Surfrider USA's benefit CD.

  • Jewel wrote "The Face of Love" for the new "Romeo & Juliet" film but was rejected.

  • The multimedia magazine Launch featured Jewel on it's number 9 issue.

  • Jewel's Crossroads performance of "Foolish Games" is on the VH1 Crossroads CD.

  • Jewel presented the Rock Song of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards in December of 1996

  • Foolish Games was re-recorded for the Batman & Robin Soundtrack and although it is the only bright spot connected to the movie, it wasn't in the film.

  • Jewel continues her support of the environment with a contribution to Surfdog, released in 1997, the second Surfrider disc benefitting the oceans.

  • Jewel's second full album, Spirit, was released in November of 1998 on the same day as Alanis Morrissette's follow-up album. It was a hit, although not on the long standing level as Pieces of You.

  • Jewel began her movie career in 1998, co-starring in 20th Century Fox/Ang Lee's production of the Civil War drama "To Live On"  released in the fall of 1999. Unfortunately, it never hit most theater markets and was mostly seen on the video store shelves.

  • Jewel's third album was Joy A Holiday Collection, released in late 1999. It was a collection of Jewel standards and new holiday themed songs.



Here are a few that will get you started. Naturally, the fans do it best. The record company has a lame, never updated page with a few pictures and an old schedule, while the fans give you lots of pix, reviews, stories, lyrics, audio clips, other links and more.

The FAQ was originally written by Neal Copperman and Jeff Hanson and is now maintained by Adam Longfellow.

[ Main | News | Tour | Chronology | Articles | Gallery | Discography | Songs | TV | Facts | Links | Jewelstock | List | Poetry | Fan Poetry | Audio | Credits]


 What do you think? Email Pieces of Jewel

1996-2006 Pieces of Jewel. All Rights Reserved. All content on this site remains the property of the original owner/broadcaster/publisher. To be used by permission.