We proudly present an incredibly unique and exceptional Christmas concert with one of world’s most acclaimed and truly legendary singers and guitarists José Feliciano. He has been acclaimed by critics throughout the world as “The greatest living guitarist” and he performs in Rye with his six piece band after performing for the Pope at the Vatican in Rome.
José will be performing a special eclectic programme that will include many of his greatest hits from his impressive back catalogue of hits that span five decades along with new repertoire from his latest album releases and a selection of special Christmas festival material.
2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of Jose Feliciano’s entry into the global market with two significant achievements: the release of his acoustic cover of the Doors’ “Light My Fire” and as the first person to publicly re-interpret the USA national anthem “Star-Spangled Banner”.
José Feliciano is recognised as the first Latin Artist to cross over into the English music market, opening the doors to others who now play an important part in the American music industry. His many smash hits include a wonderful cover of ‘Light My Fire’, ‘Che Sara’ and the wonderful Christmas song, ‘Feliz Navidad’, but he is possibly best known in the UK for his version of ‘California Dreamin’. He is acclaimed by critics around the world, has countless prestigious awards including Grammy Awards and Gold and Platinum records to his name and we are delighted to be bringing him to Rye this Christmas.
Guitar Player Magazine 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. He’s been awarded over forty-five Gold and Platinum records; has won sixteen Grammy nominations, earning him six Grammy Awards and is in receipt of countless prestigious awards the world over.
We are delighted to be working with local charity The Music Well for this concert series. Please dig deep at this time of year to support this wonderful cause.
This is a wonderful opportunity to treat someone special at Christmas or why not get a group of friends together to experience a truly unforgettable concert.
£65 Unreserved Seated
£55 Restricted View
Demand for this concert will be exceptionally high so we recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.
2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of Jose Feliciano’s entry into the global market with two significant achievements: the release of his acoustic cover of the Doors’ “Light My Fire” and, in the United States of America, as the first person to publicly re-interpret the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
While recording for RCA Records in 1968, Jose Feliciano released a soulful version of the Doors’ rock-anthem, the magnetic “Light My Fire.” Known as a preeminent interpreter of song, Feliciano had taken the electric rocker and slowed it down significantly, with an acoustic guitar and his own Latin/Jazz influences. This would prove to be a “First’ in the Rock’n’Roll Music Industry when the now-inmate song unexpectedly soared to the top of record charts throughout North America and subsequently, around the world. It effectively catapulted Feliciano to the status of an Artist of Global Acclaim where he has, for fifty years, maintained that relationship continuing to cultivate it with his audiences, everywhere.
Also, history remembers 1968 as an extraordinarily tumultuous year. In the United States, both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy had been assassinated and the war in Vietnam raged on with a nation divided by race, class, gender and even, by age. The older generation had no faith in their children and the younger generation had no trust in “anyone over 30. ″ Their attitudes were reflected in their dress, their politics and their music. Enter Jose Feliciano, a 23 year-old singer-guitarist who was having great success in South America as well as a major hit on the American scene with “Light My Fire.” He was invited to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before a World Series Baseball Game and chose to perform the anthem differently: more slowly and soulfully, as a gesture of gratitude to a country that had given an opportunity to a blind kid with a dream to reach far above his so-called limitations. It was met, in large part, with tremendous anger by the so-called, “Establishment” and, though his career would suffer significantly over the controversy, his rendition of personal interpretation definitively opened the doors to future generations who now express themselves openly and artistically in rendering the Anthem.
In addition to having introduced two significant re-interpretations of songs to the world of music in 1968, the career of Jose Feliciano has been comprised of a unique blend of international flavors as well as an eclectic variety of musical styles, reflecting the character of this enduring Artist. During this year in celebration of his first being thrust onto the international music scene, Jose will be celebrated around the world, while he in turn, will celebrate with gratitude, everyone who’s touched his magical life, or he puts it, “My Story, So Far…”
FELICIANO: A Name That is Synonymous with MUSIC.
It is synonymous with an international presence that has influenced popular music for more than two generations. It is synonymous with a presence that has bridged musical styles in a way that has never been equalled. Jose Feliciano is recognised 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. Feliciano has been acclaimed by critics around the world as “The Greatest Living Guitarist.” 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. Jose Feliciano’s musical career has been immortalised with a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame and New York City has honoured him by re-naming Public School 155 in East Harlem, “The Jose Feliciano Performing Arts School.” The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, an ancient and prestigious Papal Order of the Church has Knighted him and he’s received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut, for his musical, as well as humanitarian contributions to the world.
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, Jose was selected to receive Billboard Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Some of Feliciano’s major record releases include, “Amor Gitano,” “Light My Fire,” “Feliz Navidad” (Inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010), “Chico And The Man,” “Che Sara,” “Porque Te Tengo Que Olvidar?” “Rain,” “La Copa Rota,” ‘The Sound of Vienna” and “Affirmation” – to name but a few. Jose was also the first artist to publicly stylise the American National Anthem and, after years of controversy, is now regarded as THE patriotic pioneer of artistic interpretation and his rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” is included in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Being constantly in demand, Jose has performed for and with some of the most important people on Earth. He enjoys playing with many of the top symphonic orchestras including the London Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. He appears on major television shows worldwide; having done a number of his own specials and his music has been featured on television, in films and on the stage. Born blind in Lares, Puerto Rico, Jose came to New York as a child, and launched his meteoric career in Greenwich Village. 50 years later, he continues to feel humble with all the successes he has had and remarkably, insists that he has just started to share his talents with the world.
Situated in the heart of old Rye, and providing marvelous views over the surrounding area and coast from its tower, St Mary’s has stood for the best part of 1000 years and is home to the oldest still-functioning pendulum clock in the country . It has some fine stained glass, including a window designed by the pre-Raphaelite Burne-Jones in the north aisle. St Mary’s provides a wonderful setting for our live events throughout the festival and has hosted artists including Antonio Forcione, Sarah Jane Morris, Ian Shaw and Ola Onabule.
Facilities at St Mary’s Church
Please note all performances will have an interval of approximately 20 minutes.
St Mary’s Church
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