Jen Howard is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist out of Venice, California, whose music is a mix of folk, roots, reggae and “sophisti-pop.” Howard is stopping in Prescott on her nationwide tour on Friday, June 2, at the Raven Cafe, 142 N. Cortez St.
In 2019, Howard released her debut EP, “Motion.” Her follow-up EP will be released this year. Themes in Howard’s music include human nature, love, motivation and compassion for others.
“I really like positive music that is encouraging and insightful,” Howard said. “A lot of the stuff that I write encourages me, you know, to keep going and to hang in there and, you know, be the best version of myself I can be and I just really want to share that with people.”
Howard has performed in Arizona, California, Colorado, Costa Rica, Florida, Germany, Hawaii, Iceland, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mexico, Netherlands, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Texas and Utah. Among her wide reach of performances, attendees often remark on her positive message.
“A lot of people come up to me after the shows and thank me for being encouraging and for my solo music, like the music that I’m playing, a lot of it is motivating in a way,” she said. “If there’s any way that I can, through my own experience and having the courage to go out on the road and just do this by myself, I feel like it’s helpful for other people too, because that’s how I started. I thought, ‘Hey, if other people can do this, so can I. So I’m going to try.’”
Having started playing piano at a young age, pursuing music as a career seemed like the next logical step for Howard.
“My mom took me to piano lessons when I was 9, so I don’t really remember there being a time that I wanted to be a musician, I’ve always been doing,” Howard said. “Music has just always been something that I’ve done, regardless of what other careers I’ve had.”
As a lead singer for rock bands for many years, it didn’t take much of a shift for her to make music her full-time job.
“Once I really came into my own and I realized that I was capable of doing anything that I set my mind to, I was like, ‘If I put eight hours a day into anything, I will be successful,’” she said. “When I was about 18, I made some friends that played in a band and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to play in a rock band.’ So, then I did that for the last 20 years, and probably about five years ago someone asked me if I would record my own solo stuff because I always write my own stuff and that got the ball rolling.
“Then I was like, ‘Yeah, why don’t I record my own stuff?’ And then I really was like, ‘I’m going to do this.’”
For more information about Jen Howard, visit www.jenhowardlive.com.
Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at email@example.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.