Jenni gave me her CD after we met, so I decided to listen to it while I typed up her bio. It’s much better than I imagined. I’ll plug her site at the bottom of this so you can check it out.
“Call me Menorah Jones,” she says when we meet. “At least put it in quotes when you write the article.” It’s a corny twist on Norah Jones, whose musical style she most closely resembles. “I’m considered a songstress because of the style I do. Pop music with a jazz undercurrent.” She travels a lot and has played in 14 countries so far. She’s very driven. “Even when I sucked, I booked gigs all over the world and played.” I ask her why every crappy musician I know tells me they’ve toured Europe. “Are they tone deaf over there?” She smiles and moves on. She’s amiable, with a hippie vibe and a “You had me at SHALOM” shirt, but there’s something serious about her. I mention it. “Judaism helps me because it helps me lighten up. My dad always said, ‘Lighten up.’ I’m a Virgo — I can’t help it.”
Jenni was born to Jewish parents but was put up for adoption at birth. She spent four years in the foster care system before she was adopted by Jewish parents. “But my Jewishness came from my soul — not from how I was raised.” It was her Jewish camp that taught her about Shabbat and, most important to her — music. When she came back home and asked her parents to make Shabbat dinners, they refused. So now she hosts them as often as she can. She also started a program at the Jewish Home in Reseda, where her grandma lives. “I’m like the Shabbat fairy.”
“I’m Jewish, but I’m spiritual as well.” I ask her what it means to be spiritual. She answers, “Spiritual is allowing for the unknown to exist without trying to control it, because there’s something bigger than us. And that takes a lot of practice.” I ask her if that bigger thing is God. She says, “I believe there’s something bigger than us — I don’t know what that is, and I don’t need to know.”
She mentions “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” during our conversation. It seems so offhand, yet she brings it up more than once. In the song, a married man sees a personal ad and decides to respond to it. They set a meeting place, only when he shows up it’s his wife who walks in. It turns out neither of them had realized that what they were looking for was right in front of them. So, I ask Jenni about this — and she wouldn’t tell me exactly — but she intimated that there’s a guy she hopes will read this and come to the same conclusion: We were meant to be.
Maybe it’ll happen, but I’m guessing more than likely it won’t. I don’t doubt that Jenni will find someone to love her. I just don’t think her male friend will read this bio and suddenly realize he’s been making a mistake. It’s clear that he doesn’t see her as his soul mate, and it’s for the best she doesn’t try to force a square peg into a round hole. There’s someone out there for Jenni. And maybe he’s reading this bio now. And if he’s the right one, he won’t need a piña colada song to be reminded of how much he loves her.
Listen to Jenni sing at jennialpert.com.
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.