My name is Janice Harrington. I am a singer of Jazz, Blues and Gospel, producer and actress. I am an American, but I currently reside in the quaint city of Lüneburg, Germany, with my German husband, the talented trombone player and piano-builder Werner Guertler. My international career began in 1969 with tours for the USO to South East Asia, where I entertained USA military personnel during the Vietnam War. In the current years, I have been concentrating more on working with school children and people with disabilities, producing Authentic American Music Workshops and concerts all over Germany.
Where did you learn to sing?
In my mother’s tummy, she was singing in the Gospel Choir
What brought you to Europe?
At the age of 4 I feel in love with a comic book character Thor, the Nordic God of Thunder and I wanted to marry him, so I planned and my wish came true when I reached Norway in 1980. Not a Nordic God but a Norwegian man. I met him in 1980, married him 1981 and divorced him in 1982.
What was the biggest struggle for you in Germany?
Still a struggle… the language. I understand more then I speak and don’t write at all. It is a handicap. I am fortunate that I have loyal friends that can assist me.
How does Germany fit into your successful career?
I don’t think of myself as being successful. I guess there was a measure of success when I had the first Gospel Workshops in 1993, I created this concept in Germany, after my musical partner Charles May died in 2000 I lost the desire to continue. Now I am back with a new project Janice Harrington’s Gospel Train.
Do you consider yourself “American” even if you have lived in Germany for so long?
Yes I am American. I love my President, but not at all happy with the way Black people are treated in the States. I am a mother of 5 children, 19 Grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren – 7 of them being girls. Yes I worry all the time about their safety and pray that the Lord will protect them.
Do you see yourself in Germany in 5-10 years?
I love my German husband and as long as the good Lord allows us to remain together and as the children grow older home is where we lay our hat. He is a piano builder and tuner, plays trombone and we work together.
I have chosen well with my German family because they are loving, kind and have a great sense of humor, when I lost my Mother in law I lost a second Mother, they would have loved each other. There are 3 other boys and all sweet the wives too. I am more comfortable here then in the States. I have issues when people can walk around caring concealed weapons, and I am also appalled with the way some Americans treat people of color, who gave them the right after all???