Pianist Jim Brickman brings his romantic, mellow sound to the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on Nov. 17 as part of his national "On a Winter's Night" tour.
"It's not 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town,' exclusively," the Cleveland resident said in a recent telephone interview. "It's heading into that season. It's a nice combination of a lot of the hits and a few holiday songs to get you in the mood."
The 50-year-old entertainer is one of the top-selling solo piano artists, thanks to hits like "Valentine," "The Gift," "Love of My Life," "Simple Things" and "Peace." He has been nominated for two Grammy Awards one in 2009 for best new-age album for "Faith" and one in 2003 for best instrumental album for "Peace."
He also won a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association for country song of the year for 1997's "The Gift" and was called a "devout Christian" in Christianity Today.
Brickman said his music is inspirational. "The music itself is extremely emotional," he said. "It comes from a very authentic place for me. When you share something that is authentic to who you are, that's the first thing people notice about you. That comes from my own not necessarily faith-based religion per se, it's just the idea that you can be inspired by something that can take you on whatever path you want to go in your life."
While he doesn't mind the new-age label, he prefers to call his music solo instrumental pop music. "It's not single driven," he said. "It's more of an album experience. It's sold at Target that way. It's positioned as an experience you play this at a dinner party, or you play this at a bubble bath or to chill out or to comfort, to heal."
For 15 years, Brickman also has hosted a weekly adult-contemporary radio show, "Your Weekend with Jim Brickman." It airs Sundays from 7 to 11 p.m. on 99.3FM KJOY out of Stockton.
Brickman said he is excited to meet some local listeners, to perform in Modesto for the first time and to play the Gallo Center, which he has heard much about. He is bringing along guest Luke McMaster, who sings "Good Morning Beautiful," an upbeat pop tune on Brickman's new CD, "Believe."
"He's a great songwriter and we have mutual songwriting friends," Brickman said. The two had an instant connection when they met and struck up a friendship.
The CD "Believe" has a very hopeful, romantic tone, like all of Brickman's music. "I feel like there's a place in the world for that," he said. "It's such a chaotic time in the world and I think sometimes you need a break."WHAT: Jim Brickman: "On a Winter's Night"
WHEN: 8 p.m. Nov. 17
WHERE: Rogers Theater, Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto
CALL: (209) 338-2100