There's No Way Jose Will Rely on Past Achievements; Sixties Survivor Jose Feliciano Talks to Martin Longley

By Longley, Martin | The Birmingham Post (England), June 18, 1998 | Go to article overview
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There's No Way Jose Will Rely on Past Achievements; Sixties Survivor Jose Feliciano Talks to Martin Longley


Longley, Martin, The Birmingham Post (England)


Imanaged to track Jose Feliciano down to a Turkish hotel on the morning of his Tuesday show.

On the phone from his room, he was apprehensive about another slogging day of travel prior to the three-day residency opening at Ronnie Scott's tonight.

These dates precede six nights at London's Jazz Cafe, followed by a string of one-off shows. Then he's off to Italy and back to the States for the final leg of his tour. By this time, Feliciano will probably have a yearning for his 200-year-old house (fo rmerly a tavern) in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

"I also have my recording studio there, I have it in a barn," he says.

Born blind, in Lares, Puerto Rico in 1945, Feliciano started out playing on a tin cracker can at the age of three, moving up to a concertina by the time he was six. The year before that, his entire family had relocated to New York City.

Before hitting 10, he had graduated to guitar and at 17, he left school, starting to perform in the folk-scene coffee houses of Greenwich Village.

Mention his name to most people and they'll recall the 1968 mega-hit reading of Light My Fire . Others think of Che Sera or his Christmas song Feliz Navidad. Despite the 60s being a peak period of recognition, Feliciano has kept up a steady stream of alb ums and touring over the last three decades.

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