Jim Brickman bringing Christmas cheer to Joliet
By TRICIA DESPRES For Sun-Times Media November 27, 2013 4:06PM
Jim Brickman promises “a sense of magic and inspiration and lightheartedness” at his holiday show at the Rialto Square. | PROVIDED PHOTO
JIM BRICKMAN — The mAGIC
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Rialto Square Theatre, 15 E. Van Buren St., Joliet
Tickets : $35-$100
Info: (815) 726-6600;
Updated: November 27, 2013 4:49PM
When you are the best-selling piano artist of modern time, chances are you aren’t afraid of a little silence within the course of a concert. You know a memorable live show requires both sounds and spaces of stillness that go on to create an emotional connection with one’s audience.
There is only one time when Jim Brickman is a bit hesitant within such silence.
“My dad has a tendency to laugh too loud sometimes,” chuckles Brickman of his parents, who reside in Deerfield. “I always tell the tour manager to never put my parents in the front row because of it. [Laughs] But yes, I’m all about having moments of quiet. We live in a world where everyone wants to fill space with sound, but that’s just not the way I see music. You have to give people time to take it all in. Music is a conversation.”
These ongoing conversations have long spelled success within the course of Brickman’s career, whether through the music of his albums or his live shows. “Doing these live performances is so intuitive at this point,” says Brickman, most known for chart-toppers such as “Valentine,” “The Gift” and “Peace.”
“I mean, I’m not even thinking about where my hands are anymore. Whatever happens up there on that stage comes completely out of me. I love creating that sort of drama and anticipation.”
Brickman is currently touring in support of his newest CD, “The Magic of Christmas,” which features the musical stylings of artists such as the legendary Johnny Mathis. “I always laugh when people assume celebrities have everyone else’s phone numbers,” he laughs of his collaboration with Mathis on the 2003 Brickman classic “Sending You A Little Christmas.” “But I did find a way to connect with ‘his people’ and it ended up being a surreal, ‘pinch me’ type of moment.”
And while Brickman has always found a way to create magic within the course of an album, it’s his live shows that truly give him the chance to create and often re-create his favorite holiday compositions.
“I tend to be a big fan of the hymns and carols and the beauty of those melodies,” he says. “I’m not a huge fan of the retread that comes when the 500th pop singer does the 500th rendition of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’ It almost always is going to beg for comparison to the original. As a listener, you know what’s coming next, so it takes the emotion out of it. Emotion in music comes from the unexpected, which is what I always strive to do.”
Of course, Brickman says that his Nov. 30 show at the Rialto Square Theatre, featuring musical guests Luke McMaster, Anne Cochran and Tracy Silverman, still will include its share of holiday classics.
“The whole idea of ‘The Magic of Christmas’ brings with it a sense of magic and inspiration and lightheartedness and imagination, and that’s exactly what we are going to give them.”