Today marks the 69th anniversary of Jose Feliciano’s birth…well actually, he was born two days before the date on his birth certificate and only in his thirties was it brought up in conversation between he and his Mom–not a big deal. Though typically diehard Feliciano Lovers begin celebrating early on in September and trail into the middle of the month or later but for Jose, this is the day he celebrates his life.
In Vienna with his friends and manager, Helmuth, he is enjoying a working vacation, so to speak, soaking up the autumnal sun in the garden, writing and recording in their studio and indulging (just a little) in the Viennese cuisine and wines that he so loves. A Happy Birthday, indeed.
Today, however, Jose’s thoughts are focusing heavily on a real sense of Gratitude. Is it because Life is Perfect? Ah, no! There’s enough challenge on tap to keep anyone humble, if not terrified, but it all depends on how it’s processed and Jose has grown accustomed to processing it all — the good, the bad and the ugly — with style and grace…and a lot of gratitude.
During the last couple of weeks Jose has been in both the Caribbean and in Europe as he engages in his business and promotional agendas. While in Puerto Rico he was invited to visit radio and television studios and met with the press in preparation for his return to his homeland in a Bellas Artes Concert on September 20th. He continued on to San Domingo where his Don Jose Feliciano Brand is headquartered and, along with some recording and other business ventures, Feliciano works towards an increased presence in the region.
The entry of an uninvited guest in their hotel room one nite met with immediate and decisive action by the hotel staff and National Police, bringing a swift and positive conclusion to it all, thank God (and makes for another great story to tell and re-tell during those long and otherwise boring layovers and annoying hurry-up-&-wait scenarios that are all too common). But again, it is his sense of gratitude that prevails for the positive outcome and for the help that was offered to him and to Susan. Remarkable.
But this Gratitude-thing, admidst the chaos, admidst the crazy, is very evident in Jose Feliciano. There is a lot to be Grateful for these days, after all: 60 years since a nine year-old boy first took the stage and made people howl with pleasure…and still doing so on a global scale..that’s pretty amazing. (Very grateful.) Hearing people use the word “relevant” when describing Feliciano’s career at this stage in his life is very, very gratifying…and he’s hearing it a lot these days. (Very grateful, indeed.)
Now in Vienna, Jose’s recording a Spanish Bachata one afternoon and transcribing an aria by Mozart for guitar the next day, while rehearsing his medley for a German TV special performance this weekend. Now that’s not only diverse, that’s Typical-Jose. And to be doing it, loving it and being loved back, that’s the purpose for Jose’s sincere prayer of gratitude.
Jose thanks you for all the calls, the cards, the emails and the Facebook Posts & Tweets he’s received from all over the world. He is enjoying them all, recognizing what a fortunate man he is and is, in a word, “Grateful.”