Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and pianist Jim Brickman has always considered himself an optimist. But even the purest optimists seem a little tired of this pandemic year.
“I’m… fine,” Brickman said with as much enthusiasm as he can muster in a recent interview. “I mean, I miss travel, especially abroad. [Pauses] I do my best to think about the benefits of this time rather than what I miss.
One of those perks is its “Comfort and Joy at Home 2020” virtual tour, a live event until December 23 which gives fans the chance to enjoy The Brickman’s beloved vacation show from the comfort of their own homes while supporting their local venues in these trying times.
“I wanted to give back to the theaters that have always supported me so much,” says Brickman, who will donate a portion of the proceeds from his Dec. 4 show to the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at North Central College. “I also wanted to create something that simulates the tour that we would normally undertake, rather than doing a somewhat passively national livestream, which would have no community quality.”
Presenting a series of selections from his recent album “Soothe Christmas Vol. 6 “as well as some of his greatest hits including” The Gift “,” Angel Eyes “and” If You Believe “, Brickman will perform a virtual live concert via Zoom each evening for a different city from a set of extravagant vacation built in his studio home.
“I will be able to see you and you will be able to see me,” explains Brickman. “I’ve actually started doing a few shows already, and once I start performing and seeing people, there’s a kind of quality that brings me into that space. It’s certainly not the same, but I’m trying to tell myself that at least I don’t have to get on the bus afterwards, ”he laughs.
For nearly 25 years, Brickman has traveled across the country and the world to bring his brand of easy-to-listen music to his fans. But this year, of course, everything is different.
Well, almost everything.
“We even try to make the studio feel like it does if we were actually on tour – from the locker rooms to the dining areas,” he laughs. “Basically we’re trying to simulate the feeling of a live show not just for the audience, but for us.”
And yes, Brickman might even call you if you take a bathroom break during the show.
“You never know,” he laughs. “I’ll do my best to relax everyone and have fun with it. It’s definitely a one-of-a-kind situation.
Each ticket holder will receive a Christmas stocking delivered to their home before the show, which will include everything from a CD and a real “ticket” to the show and the bells that the public will be encouraged to ring throughout. of the 90-minute performance.
“I wanted to offer something tactile to enhance the overall experience,” explains Brickman.
More importantly, each show will be essentially personalized for the audience that Brickman is playing for on any given night.
“That’s what I do on stage, so that’s what I’ll do here,” says Brickman, who also offers virtual “meet and greet” opportunities with certain ticket packages. “It makes it more comfortable and a little warmer and a little more like I’m there. My mom lives in Chicago, so yeah, we’ll probably talk about that. Chicago has always been a special place for me.
These are the kinds of memories that run through her head throughout the past year.
“This year has been like a forced break for me to think about what I want to do next and approach things as a performer,” he says. “Do I want to keep doing the same thing I was doing or do I want to reimagine it?” Now is the time to ask, “What is my life like?” It is a time of reflection and planning. It’s the same for everyone, I guess.
“I know the pandemic has been tough on everyone, but we’re not going to dwell on that during these shows,” says Brickman. “I feel like I’m there [are] enough people doing that. Instead, we’ll enjoy an evening of music with our friends and focus on our blessings. “
Tricia Despres is a local freelance writer.