Last nite was a long one: a “Feliz Navidad” (reunion) Concert at BB Kings in New York’s Times Square. This one has been the cherry on the top of Jose’s touring season now for several years. Very cool. Very noisy.
This morning, while waiting for the coffee to brew I stood in the kitchen with the dutch-door open (warm, warm, warm here in New England), listening to the river. We’ve had quite a bit of rain and you can tell that just by listening to the rushing water over the rocks; how I love our mini- waterfall on our little slice of the Saugatuck. But beyond that, there was nothing else to hear: no traffic. Nobody building anything. Nobody cleaning anything. No airplanes; not even the song of birds. It’s almost as if the world has taken a step back at this time of year and has stopped.
Does it stop to rest? Does it stop to reflect? if it does reflect, does it reflect on that fact that all which doesn’t ‘do us in’ actually makes us stronger and, in fact, are blessings (perhaps) in disguise? I do hope so.
We’re taking the next few days off to stop and reflect, as well, as we recognize that 2015 has proven to be a dynamic one in the Feliciano Household: The “children” (27, 24 and 20) are developing into their own forces of Nature and for this, their Father and I are most proud. I am learning (and re-learning) that anything is possible when you keep God at the helm and the Maestro, having turned 70 this year, has taken on some challenging projects that he’d never thought possible…
An HBO special celebrating the Latin Explosion in the United States featured him heavily as a pioneer in the music industry, opening doors for so many others to follow; a History Channel docu-drama mini-series featured his guitar work throughout and an invitation to join in a theatrical production celebrating Cuba’s musical legacy has resulted in performances on operatic stages in Europe and the US. With over 50 performances and events this year from Asia to Europe to South America and the U.S., he has been able to share his music with hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Working in his studio environments in Vienna and in Connecticut, he’s continued to create music that will be released in 2016: in English, Spanish and Italian; both contemporary and classical. His musical muscles have been flexed – and with his manager, Helmuth, and their Team – he is realizing that in the Arts, age notwithstanding, one can still create true musical treasures. This is what continues to drive him: to be able to bring joy to others, entering into their day with his music, and making them smile. Pretty simple. Pretty amazing.
So with the sun beginning to peak through the clouds and warming up the hours before our Family Festivities (and completely extinguishing the hope for a white Christmas!!), we pray that at this time of year, you, too will pause and reflect on all the benefits of your labors and trials, recognizing with assurance that in the Big Picture, they all figure into it somehow, as together we all strive for a Greater Good.
Be assured, also, that from our little slice of heaven on the Saugatuck we will be reflecting on the blessing of YOU in our lives and sending each and every one of you our warmest wishes for a magnificent Christmas Holiday Season and dynamic 2016!
The Feliciano Clan
p.s. With the Grammy Hall of Fame Christmas tune, “Feliz Navidad,” turning 45 this year (another milestone birthday), I’d love to share a quote with you from BILLBOARD Magazine: “Jose Feliciano is the man who taught the entire world how to say, ‘Merry Christmas’ in Spanish!”
How cool is that?