There are many facets to the Soul City Café. For starters, two musical acts and one spoken word performer will be showcased during a special segment at the start of Jewel’s upcoming shows, prior to M2M‘s opening set. Eight venues, starting with Jewel’s second U.S. date on June 15 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will host the newbies along the songstress’ tour route.

In addition, selected artists will be given the chance to make appearances at invitation-only performances held in private homes.

Jewel isn’t limiting her new stint to just musicians, though. Two film school interns will be chosen to work with a videographer to shoot footage of the shows. Their videos will feed into the Internet, providing fans a chance to view the Soul City Café throughout the tour.

Later in the summer, beginning in August, artists on local and regional levels will have the opportunity to compete for a part in a final “play-off” at the Soul City Café arts festival to be held in early 2003.

“I envision Soul City Café as a terrific opportunity to expose emerging artists to audiences, both in their own area and on a wider scale as well,” Jewel said. “There are so many great performers out there who deserve to be heard and the hardest thing to do is to get yourself in front of enough people to get the ball rolling.

“I am incredibly excited to be able to create a grassroots situation through which they can build a real fan base.”

About a dozen artists have already been chosen for the trek and will be rotating slots in the various cities. At the end of July, everybody will convene in Jewel’s home base of San Diego for the aforementioned arts festival.