Jim Brickman kicked off his A Very Merry Christmas tour on Sunday. Joining him this year are father/daughter duo Mat and Savanna Shaw, who sing on Jim’s current single “Peace Joy Love.” Though he’s been doing holiday tours for years, Jim says this year, he’s created a completely new experience.
“What I’m doing is crafting it…almost like a one-man show on Broadway,” he tells ABC Audio. “It’s got different sections of the stage, with a little living room section that’s very nostalgic, about my beginnings, with an upright piano.”
“It’s got, of course, the new guests in Mat and Savanna, and a little bit more moving parts than usual,” he adds. “A lot more moving around the stage, and not me anchored as much at the piano.”
But Jim’s approach to the concerts remains the same. After years of experience, he definitely has some thoughts about what makes a successful Christmas show.
“It has to have tender moments and nostalgia, some acknowledgment of the traditional songs that people like to hear,” he notes. “But not ‘Santa Claus Coming to Town’ from front to back, because people can see that at church, [or] at the school play.”
Jim also says it’s important to play not just your Christmas songs, but also your hits. “Even if it’s December, people are like, “Play ‘Valentine!"” he laughs.
Overall, a Christmas show should “feel like communities coming together,” Jim explains. He adds, “The theater itself is another character in the experience. Sometimes the nostalgia of the place, the comfort of being in a place that you’re used to going, is as much a part of it as what’s on the stage.”
Proceeds from “Peace Joy Love,” out now, will go to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s UNITED24 platform, to help rebuild Ukraine’s damaged infrastructure.
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