Singer/songwriter Jewel has established a program dubbed Soul City Cafe to expose up-and-coming musicians and spoken word artists. Aspects of the plan include a showcase segment during Jewel's upcomin

Singer/songwriter Jewel has established a program dubbed Soul City Cafe to expose up-and-coming musicians and spoken word artists. Aspects of the plan include a showcase segment during Jewel's upcoming North American tour, home appearances, art festivals, and a contest.

Eight stops on Jewel's tour, which kicks off June 14 in Tampa, Fla., will feature a Soul City Cafe showcase with two music acts and one spoken word artist prior to the scheduled opening set by Jewel's Atlantic labelmate and touring partner M2M. A dozen artists have been selected for the performances, which will culminate in a July art festival in San Diego, details of which have not been confirmed.

Another facet of the Soul City Cafe will be a Rock the House tour, making performers available for invitation-only performances in the homes of volunteers. Those shows will be documented by a pair of film school interns working with a veteran videographer, with the footage tabbed for an Internet diary of the trek. A contest slated to begin in August will select artists at the local and regional level to perform in a "play off" competition at an early 2003 art festival.

"Soul City Cafe is a terrific opportunity to expose emerging artists to audiences, both in their own area and on a wider scale as well," Jewel said in a statement. "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'm very excited to be able to create a grassroots situation through which they can build a real fan base."

As previously reported, Jewel will kick off a European tour Monday (May 13) in Germany. She won't be playing guitar during the trek because of a horse riding accident last month that left her with a broken collarbone and rib, from which she expected to fully recover within 10 weeks.

Here are the Jewel tour dates that will feature Soul City Cafe:

June 15: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Broward Center for the Performing Arts)
June 22L Wantagh, N.Y. (Jones Beach)
June 23: Boston (FleetBoston Pavilion)
July 3: Rochester Hills, Mich. (MeadowBrook Music Festival)
July 7: Cleveland (Nautica Stage)
July 19: Grand Prairie, Texas (Next Stage at Grand Prairie)
July 26: Los Angeles (Greek Theatre)
July 28: San Diego (SDSU Open Air Theatre)