2022. Another one is shortly going into the books. With it, are their challenges and victories; sudden left-turns and U-turns but, like you, we made it work, somehow. You know what I mean as we’re all still ploughing through it, together.
Over the years, though, I learned that blessings are the dividend for all those challenges, while the victories are most oftentimes subtle moments of genuine peace. I depend on that more and more as we travel through Covid and back into life, as we remember it.
For me, the concert world is coming back to life now, and that’s wonderful as it’s where I find one of my greatest satisfactions. Just recently, I played particular concert, this one in a smaller city along the Eastern seaboard and the director of the venue thanked me, saying “I thought we’d never be able to get you, especially at this time of year…of course, July would’ve been just as memorable! We’ve sold out and you left our audience longing for more…thank you, Jose.” There, in that comment, was my Christmas present; wrapped and delivered with a bow!
Gift-wrapped presents of all kinds have been received this year with the success of “Behind This Guitar,” the documentary of my life and career. People tell me they are entertained and inspired and so if a story about my life can do that, it’s all worth it to me, and I’m glad.
Also, a little nugget of an album was released by Anthem last month, celebrating some of my favorite things, “Love & Christmas,” with songs including, “Viva la Navidad.” This one, playful and upbeat, it has a lot of meat on the bones as well, for me. Some years ago, I was having fun in the studio with friends and family and there, the song came to me…just like that. Our kids, both the Studwell’s and the Feliciano’s, joined in, vocally, but then just a few months ago, our now-grown boy, Jonnie, played drums on it for me. He crushed it and I felt it was now finally ready to be shared. Funny how things happen; it’s getting a load of attention and hopefully, will make people smile.
But that’s only been the tip of the iceberg. For instance, concerts and opportunities to play for the people I love are becoming more frequent and fulfilling. This year my Band, which now includes not only Jonnie on drums but also Mikey on bass, spent a decent amount of time with me out there with a slew of concerts already in place for 2023. But 2022’s concert season won’t go into the books until our appearance in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium for the rendering of the National Anthem and halftime performance for the Dolphins and Packers, on Christmas Day.
It’s a departure for me, actually, because we always spend Christmas tucked away at home in Connecticut. But this year, our celebration will begin in earnest the moment we get back there and will continue through King’s Day…or beyond! I’m really, really looking forward to it…
That’s because the genuine gift, bar none, is that our daughter, Melissa, gave birth to twin baby boys less than a month ago! She and her husband, Charles, welcomed Theodore Jose, just 3lbs and 13 oz. and his younger brother (by 3 whole minutes!), Beau William, weighing in at 6 lbs and 2oz, into our family! They were delivered five weeks early, but are healthy and at home getting ready to learn all about Christmas, or at least how noisy it can get in our household during this time of year. A real Feliz Navidad, if I say so myself!
I can’t believe I’ve been so blessed: Susan and I have a family who support me, a career that sustains me and a public who gives me the desire to do what I’ve loved all my life. We wish you all a happy Christmas Holiday season and encourage you to pause, savor and reflect, thanking God, for not only the gifts, but the challenges, which make them all worthwhile.
I love you. I really do…stay well.