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José Feliciano in Feliz Navidad @ Lehman Center
(Published: December 01, 2018)

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts and GOYA FOODS celebrates Feliz Navidad with the return, by popular demand, of multi-GRAMMY Award-winning legendary singer, composer and virtuoso guitarist JOSÉ FELICIANO on Saturday, December 8th, 2018 at 8pm. Nine-time Grammy Award winner and one of Latin music's most beloved stars known for his chart-topping recording "Light My Fire" that catapulted him to pop superstardom in 1968, and his best-selling Christmas single and GRAMMY Hall of Fame original song "Feliz Navidad", JOSÉ FELICIANO possesses an unmistakable tenor voice that can be heard on nearly seventy albums. He brought the acoustic guitar to a new level and influenced pop music for two generations with songs in English, Spanish, and Italian, crossing over genres of music, from soul to pop, and from Latin to classical. His mega-hits include "Ché Sera" and "Me Has Echado Al Olvido". Forty-five gold and platinum records, nine GRAMMY® Awards, the most recent being the 2011 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, countless additional honors and awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame signify a career rivaled by only a handful of artists. Feliciano caught the world by surprise when he became the first artist to ever stylize the U.S. National Anthem "Star-Spangled Banner" and perform it publicly, which went on to be a charted Top-40 recording in 1968. This year, on Flag Day (June 14th), to celebrate the 50th (Golden) Anniversary of his interpretation of the anthem, José donated the custom-built guitar that he used to record it to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., which also displays the original Star-Spangled Banner, quite an exciting experience for Feliciano! Just as he had taken long-time standards and made them new with his own style of acoustic guitar and jazz and American vocal inflections, he created the pathway for new generations of stylization of the anthem. Puerto Rican-born JOSÉ FELICIANO returns to Lehman Center to perform a special Feliz Navidad Holiday Concert. Produced by Lehman Center.
This concert continues the completion of the first phase of renovations at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Concert goers will find that the lobbies have been upgraded for ADA compliance with new ramps and carpeting, and the interior of the theater will have new seating, carpeted aisles, and finished flooring as well. The $15.4 million dollar refurbishment of the Center, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019, will also include 5,400 square feet of enlarged space, with a new main entrance and a redesigned box office, plus new administration offices and restroom facilities on the first and mezzanine floors, and an elevator. The Center seats 2,278 people in the concert hall and is the largest of its kind in the borough. Funding for the project is being provided by the Office of the Governor, the New York State Legislature, the Bronx delegation of the New York City Council, and the Office of the Bronx Borough President. Additional funding is being raised with a seat naming initiative, which allows community members to make a personal connection with one of New York City's most important not-for-profit entertainment venues.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College/CUNY at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets for JOSÉ FELICIANO on Saturday, December 8th, 2018 at 8pm are $100*VIP, $65, $55, $50 | Children 12 & under, $10 any seat and can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at 718-960-8833 (Monday through Friday, 10am-5pm, and beginning at 4pm on the day of the concert), or through online access at www.LehmanCenter.org. *VIP Reception: The Havana Café, Goya Foods and Lehman Center special VIP pre-concert wine & hors d'oeuvres reception will start at 6:30pm. VIP tickets include the reception and the best seats in the house. Sponsored by Havana Café Restaurant and Goya Foods. Lehman Center is accessible by #4 or D train to Bedford Park Blvd. and is off the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Major Deegan Expressway. Low-cost on-site parking available for $5. JOSÉ FELICIANO was born blind to humble beginnings in Lares, Puerto Rico, one of eleven boys, and moved with his family to NYC at age five. He learned to play the concertina at age six by listening to records and performed at age nine at the Puerto Rican Theater in the Bronx. He taught himself to play guitar, again by listening to records, practicing for as many as fourteen hours a day. Listening to ‘50s rock-n-roll inspired him to sing, and at 17, he quit school to help support his family, playing in coffee houses in Greenwich Village. He played his first professional gig that year in Detroit. Shortly thereafter, a music critic writing of 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." Feliciano's major break was in the Spanish market when, after an amazing performance at the 1966 Mar del Plata Festival in Argentina, RCA executives in Buenos Aires asked him to stay and record an album of Spanish music. The first single, "Poquita Fe" was a smash hit, and "Usted" was even bigger. Infusing long-time standard boleros with his own guitar and vocal stylings, he became the teen idol of the day. Two more albums followed, and Feliciano became a star throughout South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. RCA executives in LA then brought him to producer Rick Jarrard, who recommended that Feliciano record a Doors' song that Jarrard had heard him sing in concert - "Light My Fire." By the time he was 23, José Feliciano had performed throughout most of the world and earned five GRAMMY nominations, winning two for his album Feliciano! in 1968. In 1970, he composed and recorded his everlasting Christmas song "Feliz Navidad", which has been named one of the "25 Greatest Holiday Songs of the Century" by ASCAP. Recognized as the first Latin Artist to cross over into the English music market, José Feliciano opened the doors to others who now play an important part in the American music industry. His compositions have been featured in television, films, and on the stage. In 1997, PolyGram released Feliciano's most important recording in many years, Señor Bolero, marking a return to his musical roots. The album's first single "Me Has Echado Al Olvido" reached platinum status in under six weeks and the album went double platinum, earning José his fifteenth GRAMMY nomination, for Best Latin Pop Performance. 2007's The Soundtrax of my Life was a collection of original songs recorded over a period of five years, and 2008's Señor Bachata won a Latin GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Tropical Album as well as a GRAMMY Award for Best Tropical Album. Feliciano has been honored with numerous prestigious awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1987), Billboard's Lifetime Achievement Award (1966), the naming of the NYC Public School 155 in East Harlem as the José Feliciano Performing Arts School (1996), the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award (2004), and the LARAS GRAMMY Award for Lifetime Achievement (2011). He has released nearly 70 albums, including 2012's The King, José Feliciano's Tribute to Elvis Presley, and his most recent release, 2017's As You See Me Now.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The 2018-2019 Season is also made possible through the sponsorships by Goya Foods, TD Bank, Con Edison, the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, the Rudin Foundation, the Hyde and Watson Foundation, Havana Café, and the Friends of Lehman Center.

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