José Feliciano in concert


8 p.m., Saturday, September 28, 2013
Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
Tickets: $75, $65, $55.

Image: Jose FelicianoInternational superstar José Feliciano performs at 8 p.m., Saturday, September 28, 2013, at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. With a name that is synonymous with music, José Feliciano is recognized as the first Latin Artist to cross over into the English music market, opening the doors for other artists who now play an important role in the American music industry. He's been awarded over forty-five Gold and Platinum records; he has won nineteen Grammy nominations, earning nine Grammy Awards, including the LARAS Award for Lifetime Achievement. Support for this concert comes from Bank of America and media sponsors Venü magazine and WPKN (89.5 FM). Tickets are$75, $65, and $55.

José was born blind, to humble beginnings, on September 10, 1945, in Lares, Puerto Rico. One of eleven boys, he was five-years-old when his family immigrated to New York City. He was immediately drawn to music and taught himself to play the guitar, listening to vinyl records and practicing as many as 14 hours a day. And he was inspired to sing by hearing Rock'n'Roll music of the 50's. He started his career playing in coffee houses in Greenwich Village and travelling to clubs and cafes from Boston to Cleveland to Detroit, Chicago and Colorado. A music critic from the New York Times, reviewing his performance at Gerde's Folk City, referred to him as a "10-fingered wizard who romps, runs, rolls, picks and reverberates his six strings in an incomparable fashion." His talents got him signed to RCA Records in the U.S. And in the Spanish market, he soon became a superstar. Taking long-time standards and torch songs from another era, he re-worked and re-fashioned them with his signature acoustic guitar style and his vocal inflections of jazz and American influences, making them sound brand new. By the time he was 23, José Feliciano had earned five Grammy nominations and won two Grammy Awards for his album "Feliciano!" He had performed over much of the world, and had recorded songs in four languages. His career also included acting, and he made a number of dramatic TV appearances, including an episode of "Kung Fu", "McMillan and Wife" and "Chico and the Man," for which he wrote and performed the theme song. In the early 90's, he hosted a radio program on a local Westport, Connecticut, radio station, WMMM.

Although he's written and recorded countless hits, the three songs that have become milestones for Feliciano in his career are his original interpretation of The Doors' "Light My Fire," which topped the charts globally in 1968; "Che Sara," a 1971 San Remo Music Festival entry that became a mega-success for José throughout Europe, Asia and South America; and "Feliz Navidad," the Christmas song that has now become a tradition worldwide during the holiday season every year. It has become a top iTunes download, and ASCAP has placed it among the 25 Greatest Holiday Songs of the Century.

José Feliciano's musical career has been immortalized with a Star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. New York City has honored him by re-naming Public School 155 in East Harlem, "The José Feliciano Performing Arts School." The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, an ancient and prestigious Papal Order of the Catholic Church has knighted José at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and he's received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. Guitar Player Magazine has awarded him "Best Pop Guitarist," placing him in their "Gallery of the Greats," and he's been voted both Best Jazz and Best Rock Guitarist in the Playboy Magazine reader's poll, as well. In 1996, José was selected to receive Billboard Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award. He appeared on the Motown 25 Special where he preceded Michael Jackson's premier ‘moonwalk,' and he performed for two Popes: Pope John Paul II during "Christmas at the Vatican" and Pope Benedict XVI before the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium.

In 2005, José recorded a collection of Mexican Mariachis. In "A Mexico...con Amor," he was able to express his affection for the people and music of Mexico in much the same way he'd illuminated the beauty of the bolero. In September 2006, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, an organization that identifies, inspires, promotes and prepares Latino role models through national leadership, cultural, educational and workforce programs, honored José with their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2008, José explored the typical countryside music of the Dominicanos - The Bachata. The album, part of his now-popular "Señor Series," was aptly titled, "Señor Bachata!" won two Grammy Awards, for "Best Contemporary Tropical Album" by LARAS, the Latin Association of Recording Arts and Sciences and "Best Tropical Album" by NARAS, the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences. In November 2011, LARAS honored him with their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his life's work.

He and his wife Susan live in a centuries-old former tavern-turned-homestead on a river in Fairfield County, Connecticut. They have a daughter and two sons. José's current release, "The King ... by José Feliciano" is a collection of twelve of José's favorite Elvis Presley songs, recorded in his inimitable style and released in August 2012.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at www.quickcenter.com.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on August 29, 2013

Vol. 46, No. 29