5 questions with…aspiring doctor and musician Jordan Genovese

genoveseBy Shivani Parikh

While today is just a normal Friday for most, it’s a monumental day in Jordan Genovese’s life: it’s the release date of her album, “Green November,” which encompasses years of songwriting and performing. The third-year medical anthropology major has been making music since high school, and sharing it with the Case Western Reserve community since her first year on campus.

“All in all, we put in almost a year-and-a-half of work on this album. It has songs from high school and my time in college, so I like that it tells a story of my experiences and growth over the last five years,” she said. The album release will be celebrated tomorrow night at the Jolly Scholar from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Genovese is not only “pre-rockstar” as her friends call her, but pre-medicine as well. It’s an uncommon combination, but it makes perfect sense to her.

“There’s probably nothing more opposite than wanting to go to medical school and wanting to be a recording artist, but I care about both and am not ready to give up either one at this point,” she said.

So, how is she going to make both of her dreams come true? “After graduation, I want to be in Nashville for a few years and really give music a shot,” she said. “If that doesn’t work out, I would be equally as happy to apply to medical school and work hard to become a doctor, which has been my childhood dream.”

Genovese discovered her love for music in high school here in Cleveland, while taking a songwriting class. Inspired by her peers, she picked up a guitar and began teaching herself, while writing songs that reflected her feelings and experiences.

“I started spending hours and hours after school, just learning how to play the guitar and writing songs. When there were rough times, music was an outlet for me—a place to put my opinions and feelings. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop,” she said.

Her initial breakout was in a high school rock-off competition at the House of Blues, singing in the Jo Bee Gena Band with friends Kyle Tresch, Garrett Tresch and Ray Flanagan. The band made the finals in the competition, but broke up near the end of high school, to Genovese’s disappointment. “I thought I had lost my shot,” she said.

Fortunately, soon after, she was introduced to Eric Emery, who sings as the lead vocalist in Concordia and was nominated for a Grammy for his work with gospel artist Donald Lawrence. Emery has been pivotal in the production, engineering and recording of Genovese’s album, which is now available for download on iTunes or Amazon. It also can be heard on Spotify.

Genovese has made a name for herself on campus by performing at Spot Nights, athletics events, Arts After Dark, Relay for Life and as an opening act for The Maine at last semester’s Springfest. And even between her music and her pre-medicine curriculum, she manages to make time for campus activities as a player on the varsity volleyball team, Students Meeting About Risk and Responsibility Training (SMARRT) leader, student manager at Veale Center, server at the Jolly Scholar and executive board member for Alpha Phi. She also volunteers at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

“If anyone looked at my planner, they would probably go crazy. I have no idea how, but it always comes together,” she said. “Life is hectic, but I love it.”

Get to know Genovese better with this week’s five questions—and be sure to check out her new album.

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve never been out of the country, so I have no idea what anything but the U.S. is like… so, I’m going say Nashville, Los Angeles or New York City.

2. What was your first concert?
The Spice Girls at Blossom Music Center, front row! Baby Spice waved at me.

3. Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?
The Village Starbucks, I can feed my coffee addiction there into the late hours of the night. If only I could get coffee through an IV…

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully singing at the Grand Ole Opry or the MTV Video Music Awards—or delivering babies! It all depends on how the next few years go.

5. What is your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
The community. That sounds like a cop-out answer, but I love the people that I see every day and all the friends I have made here. They are kind, genuine and truly care about others.