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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 14, 2011

Jose Marie Chan's new Album: The Manhattan Connection

FOR THE FIRST time, American artists pay musical tribute to a local singer-songwriter and recorded his songs in an album, “The Manhattan Connection: The Songs of Jose Mari Chan”, produced by Janis Siegel of the Manhattan Transfer with international musician-producer Yaron Gershovsky. They requested for a catalogue of his songs and chose 11 of them now in the special CD released locally Universal Records headed by Cathleen Dy and launched at Starbucks where you can buy it. “It’s a big honor and compliment for me,” says Joemari, who is in his mid-60s but has retained his youthful looks so he looks more just like a brother of his sons Joe and Michael who were there to support him. What he’s secret? “It’s a matter of attitude,” he says. “We all have problems, but I don’t brood about it. Then there’s my being married to the right woman (Mary Ann Arnaldo). We’ve been happy together for 41 years now.”

Joemari’s songs in the album and their interpreters are “Constant Change” and “Stay My Love” by Nic Bearde, “Like Night and Day” by Roger Treece and Lauren Kinhan, “Thank You Love” by Julie Hardy, “I Have Found My World in You” and “Easier Said than Done” by Kellylee Evans, “A Heart’s Journey” by Leo Sidran, “Love Lost” by Lisa Fischer, “Spellbound” by Miles Griffith, “Walking in the Moonlight” by Theo Bleckmann, Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse, “So I’ll Go” by Larel Masse, Janis Siegel and Lauren Kinham.

Asian singers have done versions of Joemari’s songs before like Paula Tsui, Sally Yee and Sandy Lam of Hongkong, Tomoni Akimote and Yasuo T of Japan, Aaron Kwok of Taiwan and Kamahi of Australia, but this is the first time American singers are doing his compositions. Here’s hoping it’ll be a big hit in the States. Joemari is really a Pinoy music icon whose “Christmas in Our Hearts” album has won multiple platinum awards and continues to sell each Christmas season. Maybe it’s about time someone nominates him as a National Artist for Music.