Karen was born into the arts. Her father, an entertainer and businessman, and her mother, an artist and teacher, passed their love of music and dance onto their daughter.
Formerly a teacher of the visually impaired, Karen stayed at home until her three children started school. At that point, her background in piano, singing and dancing led her to an exciting new career in songwriting. Her first compositions included sixteen songs for Jim Conant's musical, LOVE! AT THE CAFE! Next, with author Elaine Jabenis, she co-wrote FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION, also writing the songs for this heartwarming musical. Both works earned Theater Arts Guild awards. LOVE! has been produced 3 times in Omaha, while GENERATION has been in Omaha, St. Louis and Los Angeles and is soon to be on stage in Chicago! A newly released CD is also available for GENERATION.
Karen was an ardent admirer of Princess Diana, and after her tragic death in 1997, she expressed her grief by composing songs for her at the piano. This turned into PRINCESS DIANA, THE MUSICAL, which chronicles Diana's life beginning with her courtship with Prince Charles. "I was so saddened by the death of this woman who gave so much to the world," Karen laments. "Writing PRINCESS DIANA was my was of trying to keep her memory alive." She donated all of the proceeds to Diana's charities, and hopes to produce this musical again to raise more money for her causes.
Besides her theater work, Karen composed the theme song for the international ODYSSEY OF THE MIND scholastic competition, which was performed annually at the O.M. World Finals. In addition,her compelling ONE PEOPLE, ONE DESTINY was sung at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles to celebrate Israel's 50th anniversary.
A prolific songwriter, Karen's many works include a song written and performed by Nobel Peace Prizewinner ELLIE WIESEL,and a theme song for the DONNA REED performing arts festival. One of her works is featured in "omaha, the movie" and her repertoire also includes a tribute song for the late JFK Jr.
Chuck Penington, the musical conductor for the Grammy-award winning group MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER, arranges all of her music, which is recorded at Warehouse Recording Studio in Omaha, Nebraska. "I believe her melodies are her forte." Chuck says of Karen's music. "Once you hear a song of hers, you can't get it out of your head!" Mr. Penington concludes. The Javitch-Penington team recently combined their talents to make a CD: EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT WESTSIDE HIGH SCHOOL, a benefit for this high school's music department.
At two separate fundraisers in Omaha,Karen met both President Clinton and First Lady/Senator Hillary Clinton. She gave the President a song she had written for him entitled THANKS PRESIDENT CLINTON, sung by triplets Erin, Missy and Mandy Maynard. Karen presented to the First Lady one of her songs which was later used during her Senate campaign.
SURPRISE!, Karen's fourth musical, has raised over $50,000 for the Alzheimers Association. The CD made its' debut in the summer of 2001.
Karen has also been working on a NEBRASKA CELEBRITY CD. This fun CD of original songs features the talents of many famous Nebraskans, including former Miss America Tara Dawn Christensen; University of Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch; acclaimed actor John Beasley; star of "omaha, the movie' Jill Anderson; former governor turned Senator Ben Nelson; State Senator David Landis; renown saxophonist Preston Love; and Mannheim Steamroller musicians Chuck Penington and Ron Cooley.
Karen has three wonderful children: Jenny, Mark and Rachel: thus, the name of her company - JMR Productions.
We look forward to Karen's music continuing to enrich our lives.