On Saturday, November 14th, I attended the American Music Masters Series at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. This annual event through partnership with Case Western and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honors one of music’s notable influences with a day long conference and tribute concert in the evening. This year’s honoree was Janis Joplin. The speakers and guests for the conference included rock journalists from the States and England which was certainly of great interest to me. In addition to the journalists, guests also included musicians who worked with Janis, songwriters and DJs. We were treated to a lunch “Texan” style which included some of Janis’ favorite foods. To wrap up the conference at the end of the day, guests in attendance were treated to a discussion with Janis’ siblings, Laura and Michael Joplin. They were gracious, funny and insightful as they shared many stories about their “older sister” as well as what they felt her place in music is. It was a remarkable time and the day seemed to fly by.
The concert in the evening was at the State Theatre at Playhouse Square. Once again it was an all star line up which included Country Joe, Lucinda Williams and two original members from Santana, Michael Carabello and Gregg Rolie. The incredible performance began at 8:00 pm and closed around 11:00 pm. The performances and remembrances of Janis were outstanding. To reflect on the day from the conference to the concert has left everyone feeling like we “knew” Janis just a little bit more.