Jewel, Willa Ford To Perform With Contest Finalists

Alaskan singer/songwriter, Willa Ford join contest finalists; management contract voided.

Jewel will perform a solo acoustic set in New York's Central Park on June 19 with toothy blond pop singer Willa Ford and five songwriting-contest finalists.

The finalists were chosen from among 1,200 female singer/songwriters, ages 14 to 24, who submitted an original song, according to a representative for contest organizer Pantene. The hair-care company will fly the finalists to New York for the event, dubbed the Pantene Pro-Voice Finalist Concert.

Judges — including performers Tracy Bonham, Laurie Anderson, Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Najimy — will select the winner after the finalists perform. The winner will score a demo recording deal, concert tour, new car and a $10,000 endowment for her high school's music department.

Free tickets to the event are available at

Jewel, who is working on the follow-up to 1998's Spirit, has a few other summer appearances lined up. The Alaskan pop singer will perform "The Little Girl" with John Michael Montgomery on June 13 at the TNN/CMT Country Music Awards in Nashville. She will turn up June 23 at MIX 93's Red, White and Boom festival in Bonner Springs, Kansas, and she'll perform August 19-20 in San Diego at Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay.

In other Jewel news, the California labor commissioner has approved her request to have her contract with her former manager, Inga Vainshtein, declared void. Jewel petitioned the labor commissioner in response to Vainshtein suing her for breach of contract after being fired by the singer in early 1998.

The commissioner ruled that Vainshtein violated the California Talent Agencies Act by illegally booking and attempting to book engagements for Jewel without being a licensed booking agent, according to a statement issued by Jewel's management.

"With this ruling, the lawsuit no longer has any basis and should be dismissed by the court," Jewel attorney Larry S. Greenfield said.

Vainshtein could not be reached for comment.