Sharon Jones has recently started her third life. Less than a year after being diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer, the singer — considered by many to be the figurehead of the soul-revival movement — said she’s surprised to be alive. She’s even more surprised to be performing most nights of the week, attributing the miracle to several painful months of chemotherapy, the reconstruction of her bile duct, the removal of a significant length of her small intestine, and a number of other operations that Jones is happy to explain in visceral detail, the astonishment still evident in her voice.
“I finished my chemo New Year’s Eve and Jan. 10, I was on Jimmy Fallon,” Jones told Pasatiempo, speaking while en route to Indianapolis from one of her band’s two tour buses (she has a large band and support crew — each bus accommodates eight). The current national tour brings Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings to the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, March 18. The tour launched in early February, and Jones admitted she was a little scared. In her opinion, the first five shows were a bit shaky, because she was out of practice. “While I was sick, I didn’t even listen to any of our music. I couldn’t sing because they cut my diaphragm right across. From May to October is a long time for a singer not to be singing. … Now we’ve been killing it. I’ve gotten comfortable. I’ve been telling everyone I got my mojo back.”
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