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Interview:
Fifty years feels like 50 seconds to Jose Feliciano
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Jose Feliciano has reached the 50-year mark since his first album and is best known for his hit renditions of the Doors' "Light My Fire" and the holiday classic "Feliz Navidad." as well as his stylized "Star Spangled Banner" during the 1968 World Series in Detroit.

But at 68 he still considers himself a contemporary concern, and Feliciano hopes to prove that this year with "Please Don't Go Away," a new single he recorded with Dragana Mirkovic, who Feliciano calls "the Madonna or Lady Gaga of Serbia."

"My manager was very good friends with Dragana," explains the 68-year-old Puerto Rican native, who was five years old when he moved to New York with his family. "So he talked to her and the duet was born and we recorded it and the rest will hopefully be history.

"I'm happy that I'm not idle, that people still hold me in high regard, because a lot of artists fade with the times. I'm always trying to be relevant. I've kept up with the times. I'm not yet some artist that's gone. People know who I am. People like my music. So it keeps going."

In addition to the single Feliciano is also releasing a live album in July recorded with the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra in Tel Aviv. And amidst his creative activity, Feliciano says there are goals aplenty for the near future.

"I would like to get on the American charts again; I hoping ('Please Don't Go Away') will do that," he says. "I'd like to win a couple more Grammys, those kind of things. I'd like to write a song for an Academy Award-winning movie; that would be nice because it's something I've never done.

"Really, I'm ready for anything. Whatever happens, I'm ready for it.

Jose Feliciano performs at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 14, during the Carousel By the River festival at the Riverfront Festival Plaza, 370 Riverside Drive E., Windsor. Buffy Sainte-Marie and Alexander Zonjic are among the other headliners for the festival, which runs Friday through Sunday, June 13-15. General admission day passes are $5. Reserved seats are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call 519-255-1127 or visit www.carouselofnations.com.

Web Site: www.carouselofnations.com

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