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José Feliciano

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About José Feliciano

The name Feliciano 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.

José Feliciano is recognised as the first Latin Artist to cross over into the English music market, opening doors to others who now play an important part in the American music industry.  His talents are constantly in demand, and he enjoys playing with many of the world’s finest symphony orchestras including, The London Symphony, The Los Angeles Philharmonic & The Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

As importantly, José Feliciano, has been acclaimed by critics throughout the world as The Greatest Living Guitarist.  He has been awarded over 45 Gold & Platinum records, won 16 Grammy nominations, won 6 Grammy Awards, and is in receipt of countless prestigious awards the world over.  In 1996, José Feliciano was selected to receive Billboard Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and New York City honoured José by re-naming Public School 155 in East Harlem, “The José Feliciano Performing Arts School”  in 2001, he 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.

José Feliciano was born on 8th September 1945, in Lares, Puerto Rico, one of eleven children.  He was born blind due to congenital glaucoma.  At the age of five, his family moved to Spanish Harlem, New York City, and at the age of nine, he played at the Teatro Puerto Rico.  He started his musical life playing accordion, until his grandfather gave him a guitar.  He listened to classical guitarists, such as Andrés Segovia, and jazz players such as Wes Montgomery.  He later had classical lessons with Harold Morris, who had been a student of Segovia.  He left school at the age of 17 to play music, and his first professional contracted performance was in Detroit.

In 1963, he was signed to RCA Victor, and in 1964, he released his first single ‘Everybody Do The Click’  He released his first two albums in 1965 & 1966, ‘The Voice and Guitar of José Feliciano’ and ‘A Bag Full Of Soul’

In the 1970’s he acted and composed for TV series and movies including McMillan & Wife, Kung Fu, Aaron Loves Angels and MacKenna’s Gold 

José Feliciano holds the great distinction of having enjoyed success both in Spanish language and English language.  He won five consecutive awards for Best Pop Guitarist from Guitar Player magazine for jazz, classic and rock fields. 

In 2006, Feliciano’s Spanish album, José Feliciano Y Amigos was released featuring Feliciano in duets with many other Latin American stars including, Luis Fonsi, Lupillo Rivera, Rudy Perez, Cristian Castro, Marc Antony, Ramón Ayala, Alicia Villarreal, Ricardo Montaner and Raúl di Blasio.   A special edition was later released featuring Ana Gabriel and Gloria Estefan.

In 2007, he released an album entitled Soundtrack Of My Life, his first English album composed and written by him.  In 2009, he won a Grammy for Senor Bachata.  He has recently released two albums ‘American Classics’ which includes some Frank Sinatra songs, and another master guitar instrumental album called ‘Djangoisms’ dedicated to the great jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who was an inspiration to José (both albums available by download only @ www.josefeliciano.com)

In 2008, José was given another opportunity to stretch the limits, musically, this time when he explored the typical countryside music of Dominicanos – The Bachata.  “Senor Bachata” was awarded 2 Grammy Awards in 2008 for Best Contemporary Tropical Album and Best Tropical Album.

In 2011, LARAS, The Latin Association Of Recording Artists honoured José with their  Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his life’s work. 

The King ... by José Feliciano is a collection of 12 of José’s favourite Elvis Presley songs, recorded in 2012.  “Elvis has been a big influence on me, musically, and I’ve always wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to him for that somehow.  I think this album might have done that” 

José’s gift of time, treasure and talent have earned him the reputation of great humanitarian and Ambassador Of Good Will throughout the world.  “I’ll never forget where I came from or the people who helped my family along the way”  For this reason, José will often lend a hand or his name in support of causes that he believes are important. 

Even though José has recorded nearly 70 albums in his impressive career he is still humble with all the successes he has had and, remarkably, feels that he has just started to share his talents with the world.

“Long before there was the term, World Music, José Feliciano, was blending musical styles from the global jukebox ... his guitar technique pulls together the pinpoint attack of flamenco, the insinuating chords of bossa nova, the linearity of jazz and the blues inflections of rock lead guitar” New York Times