It’s impossible, really, to fit Jose Feliciano is any kind of so-called nutshell, even a giant one. Jose’s life continues to be “a really big one,” as they say, but surely, the happenings of the last few months have filled his calendar with a boatload of entries.
During July Jose kicked off the month by hosting a charity event in Austria, continued on to an engagement in London then back to the US for a festival in Maryland. From there he flew directly to Beirut, Lebanon for another very successful festival, then on to Seoul, So. Korea for yet another. Jose then polished off his July Global Tour ’16 with 8 pristine performances at the Blue Note, in Tokyo.
August gave Jose a bit of a break at home in Connecticut enjoy some summertime and to celebrate his wedding anniversary as well as seeing his son, Mikey and his own band, Forgetting Fame, take off on their own 6,000 mile whirlwind bus-tour throughout the Eastern, Midwestern and Southern United States. He enjoyed some summer sun and got to hit gym regularly.
Plus, Jose got to take in a couple of Baseball games, a killer Clambake and a Bar Mitzvah ahead of rehearsals for the super-cool live broadcast for Telemundo, “Premios Tu Mundo,” where he performed a climatic, “Aleluya!” before an audience of 40 million viewers.
September found Jose in his recording studios and in a number of Performing Arts Centers throughout the US while October into November marks the beginning of THE Season where he really starts to amp up his schedule! For all of that you can keep an eye on his calendar, here on this website.
But that’s only half of the nutshell. The OTHER half is the MUSIC that Jose and his manager/producer Helmuth and their Team have been working on for the last several years. The projects whose initial release will be both Limited Edition vinyl and CD are all due to drop at about the same time; giving everyone, hopefully, their own favorite to enjoy.
Two album projects are in the jazz bag: First, a realization of his dream inspired by one of Jose’s childhood heros, Django Reinhardt. Django’s gypsy swing moved Jose to explore and absorb his style, resulting in a brilliant collection of Latin-Gypsy Swing pieces he calls Djangoizing. Simply speaking, with the corroboration of Harri Strojka, the Viennese-Roman-Gypsy jazz-swing guitarist and, with his own stroke of genius, they simply sent the project over the Moon. The second is…
Happy Birthday, Les! which celebrates the centennial anniversary of the legendary Les Paul! Recorded with the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway in New York City’s Times Square, the album captures some of the ambiance reminiscent of those Monday nites when Les and his Trio would ‘wow’ the crowd and leave them anticipating the next Monday. Jose and Les’ Trio spent two such Mondays recording a casual, organic album that surely would have made Les smile on his 100th Birthday.
Of greatest significance will be Jose Feliciano’s Sojourn along My Latin Street, vol.1 as it is the consummate anthology of his musical roots, featuring much of what’s defined Feliciano as an Artist for so many years. It’s a collection of music that’s been gathered together and recorded during the past several years throughout both the United States and Europe.
Latin Street is comprised of special pieces of music that have touched Jose’s heart, personally. The recordings are in Spanish, English and Italian and are upbeat, introspective and romantic. The collection is supported by an impressive, as well as eclectic, roster of internationally-renowned guest vocalists and instrumentalists from a variety of genres. Subsequently, Latin Street offers a unique experience, featuring both original material and new interpretations, all Jose’s personal favorites. With over thirty titles, Latin Street is the most comprehensive collection of music, ever: celebrating the Legacy of Jose Feliciano.
Yet another project, a Christmas Holiday album! While bending a knee of gratitude to Feliciano’s first Christmas album which produced Feliz Navidad with all of its enduring sentiments, this album not only speaks to the tradition and celebration of this time of year, but also to a call for true and real Peace in our time. It’s an interesting and eclectic mix of music; some of it perhaps expected, but some of it, certainly not.
AND FINALLY…Feliciano’s admittedly most challenging, as well as most satisfying, project reflecting his life-long passion for the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is revealed in his Mozart’s Castrato Arias; a collection of operatic arias for castrati by Wolfgang Mozart. It was recorded with the Sofia Symphonic Orchestra and features the utterly miraculous voice of male soprano, Arno Raunig. In this collection of Mozartian arias, Jose performs each of the the pieces on classical acoustic guitar; a feat never before accomplished!
Not bad, eh?