With my 21st annual Day of Love Concert coming up next month at Benaroya Hall, I thought it would be nice to reflect on the beauty and nostalgia of a quarter of a century journey. When you have lived something for a long time in a certain place, there are many stories that linger in memory—wonderful friends, fans and powerful relationships that have formed the soul and mortar of your past.
I think about the people that have come to my annual show over the years, and how I see some of them for a few years in a row and then no longer, then 10 years later they reappear at some small hole-in-the-wall place I’m playing on a Sunday night. I learn about their life over the past few years—that they got divorced and my music was associated with a certain love connection, so they had to rediscover my music in a new way. Or that they were single and social and now they’re married and never go out to shows anymore. I learn that some people use my music for a season in their lives and then things change. On the other hand, there are those diehard fans that come to the show every year, own all my albums, and have followed all my artistic incarnations.
In the early 1990s I played my first Valentine’s Day show in Seattle at the small theatre at the then-new Seattle Art Museum. The show was called ‘Romantico’. I went on to perform it at the Broadway Performance Center, Frye Museum, Kirkland Performance Center, and now on to its sixteenth year at Benaroya Hall. The concert has changed a lot over the years as I have changed and my journey with art continues to take me to new, meaningful places. In the first few years it was really a classical guitar recital— I always have had a propensity for romanticism, thus the decision to offer the show to Seattle around the lovers’ holiday. As the years progressed I began playing original music, new guitar compositions with poetry, and vocals. I also started expanding the show and inviting amazing musical talent to join me on stage. At one point a few years ago I had about 20 people on stage with me for the final encore. Some of my guests have been the best on the West Coast, including Overton Berry, Lisbeth Scott, Geoffrey Castel, Steve Kim, Steve Thoeson, The Children of the Revolution, Annie O’Neill, Paulo Cesar, and Cyrus Khambatta Dance Company to name a few.
In the last four years I have become fascinated with exotic string instruments that are related to the guitar, such as handmade ukuleles, the nylon string banjo, the harp guitar, the charango, etc. This is how my show String Stories came to be. The color palate and the timber of sound that I’m offering now is so much more vast compared to years ago. I’m intrigued by new, exotic sounds that the western ear has yet to experience. So, my Day of Love convert this year will feature these instruments and my new ‘Terra de Eros’ album will as well. After 13 solo records I’m now releasing a group project featuring the tabla, bass, cello and trumpet along with my array of string sounds. The album is a medium-tempo experience with some standards, some originals and a few improvisations. It wraps up with a fun vocal that I sing in my own Latin-based vocal language.
This February 13th I’m honored to take the stage with my son, Young Andre Feriante and his wife Kaitlin. They are The Gunwhales and they hail from Chicago. Also joining me this year will be legendary pianist Overton Berry, premier NW table player Anil Prasad, extraordinary acoustic guitarist Danny Godinez, multi-talented flamenco, modern and ballet dancer Stella Rossi, and bassist/ukulele player Mike Eytcheson.
The show is a celebration of the many facets of love, friendship, and romance, both sensual and spiritual. It’s not a traditional Valentine’s Day show. You can come with your sweetheart or with a friend, while many come solo just to enjoy a concert. In a day and age where silence is hard to come by, I always enjoy being in a hall with 500 people on a Saturday night savoring the quiet passages of space between notes and sharing a collective of heart that mirrors the mystery of the human experience. There will be moments of joy, introspection, humor and inspiration in the show.
If you addend I hope you will sense my intention with my art, to increase honor, love, hope and awareness in this world thru the mystical powers of music. For those of you that just want to hear some fast guitar playing and are not as sentimental as I am, I invite you to come enjoy the performance!