Since the release of his debut album in 1994, Jim Brickman’s romantic piano sound has made him the best-selling solo piano artist of our time. Jim’s best-known compositions include the chart-toppers “Valentine,” “The Gift,” “Love of My Life,” and “Peace.” He’s established a reputation for his collaborations with artists like Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride, Kenny Loggins and Michael W. Smith. His signature style has brought him six gold and platinum albums as well as two Grammy nominations, and he’s also received international acclaim as both a songwriter and concert performer, taking his live shows to more than 125 cities each year.
Now, Brickman is paying homage to the decade of music that influenced his own musical style. Jim Brickman’s Celebration of the 70’s will be held Saturday, March 2nd at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT. Scheduled to appear with Brickman on stage include platinum selling artist and 1970’s heart-throb, David Cassidy; two-time Grammy award winner Rita Coolidge; Billboard Hot 100 chart topper Stephen Bishop; Motown legend Thelma Houston and 70’s pop-icon Yvonne Elliman.
In addition to this one of a kind performance, the show will also be filmed and released later this spring as a part of an exclusive broadcast for Xfinity TV customers across New England through its popular On Demand service.
I had the absolute pleasure of speaking with Jim and getting more information on this one of a kind event.
What made you decide to do a show celebrating this decade of music?
As a songwriter, I began to look back and wonder how I become the musician I am. I asked myself “What shaped my direction and path to write songs in this inspirational, romantic style?” I realized that a lot of my writing comes from being influenced by the great artists and songs from the 1970′s and thought it would be fun to do a show that would pay tribute to it and have a little bit of nostalgia as well.
What do you think was the best thing about that decade?
The environment. So much of what came after the 60′s and that revolution made such a big difference in the 70′s. It was after flower power and politically, we were in a different time. It was a very turbulent time too in many ways, but the music (much like today) was more pop in nature. In the 70′s, you had such a wide variety of music. There were the singer/songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell. Then you also had bands like Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and The Carpenters. Then at the other end of the spectrum, you had Disco and rock and roll with bands like Aerosmith and Three Dog Night.
What can fans expect from this Celebration of the 70′s?
A little bit of everything. We’ve got Yvonne Elliman, who was on the biggest soundtrack of all time (Saturday Night Fever); David Cassidy (“I Think I Love You”) and Stephen Bishop (“On and On”, “It Might Be You”). Thelma Houston is doing “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and a Donna Summer tribute, and David Pack will be performing Ambrosia (“How Much I Feel”). These songs are iconic in so many ways.
I’m also going to be a doing a lot of my music as well, but as it relates to being influenced by these other songs. A lot of them (like “Valentine” or “Destiny”) were influenced by Carole King, Burt Bacharach and other people I loved growing up.
You’re also going to be filming the show for TV?
Yes, we’re going to be filming it for XFinity On Demand as well as for PBS.
Tell me a little about your background.
I started playing piano when I was five. I didn’t come from a musical family, but was drawn to piano and melody and anything that was emotional or connected to a feeling. I played for the feeling more than the music. I still feel that way. Growing up, I loved listening to singers who knew what the lyrics meant and what they were singing about.
In addition to touring, what else have you got planned for this year?
We have an event coming up on July 18th called the “Brickman Nash Bash”. It’s a three-day, Nashville-centric fan event. We’re going to be getting together with many of my country friends and singer/songwriters for a concert, workshop and tours of Nashville landmarks. Much like the 70′s show, it’s curating with the artists I collaborate with and bringing them together to share with fans. I like to call it, “Brickman-Palooza.” [laughs]
I’m so thankful to have had so many hit songs over the years, and it’s an honor for me to be able to do these shows with the people I admire. I learn so much from them and then in turn, I’m able to share that with others.
Jim Brickman’s Celebration of the 70’s is Saturday, March 2nd. 2013 at the
Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, CT.
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