The Yorkton Arts Council is so pleased to bring you John Gracie, the next Star in the 2013-2014 “Stars For Saskatchewan” concert series. John will be performing excerpts from his Vintage Vegas show, with favorites from Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. The audience will love John’s renditions of these Swing Jazz classics, backed by some of the country’s best jazz musicians.
When asked what it is about these tunes that is so special to him, John replied “I have been singing all my life, different genres but I have always loved these great classics; matter of fact, it was these songs that my vocal coach used to teach me when I was a very young boy.How does he go about selecting music for a show? “I take a lot of time selecting music for my albums and then we take the very best of this music for our live show.” John explains. “These swing classics are great for a live show, since they are classics and the audience will know most of them. John’s lifelong love of music covers many genres, but also goes to a very meaningful, deeper level. His hit, “Pass It On” was chosen as a theme song for food banks across Canada. John explains how it all came about. “As a songwriter, I found myself in a writing room in Nashville, with two other writers from the US; we had been writing all week, writing the typical love songs and I needed a change, I wanted to write something deeper, a song for change, so I suggested this and they agreed. I had something started and we continued together and wrote Pass It On- it went on to be a song for food banks. The message is to pass it on, pay it forward; we all must help one another. I am proud of that song. It was also chosen for the CD/Concert project Tears of a Thousand Years, I performed it live in Toronto and it indeed was one of those special moments in my career.”
Where does the inspiration for those deeply profound and moving songs like “Kiss Me”, a reflection on the homeless, come from? “Sometimes the idea just comes to me, on a long drive, during quiet moments alone, it could be a life moment, something you see on the news, something you’re feeling at the time, these are the best moments. I have been commissioned to write songs and this is indeed a different process.
John’s Mom had a huge impact on his music and the direction his life would take. “Yes, my Mom was such a great support- she often told the story on how she heard me singing at age 4 behind the stove and I was so shy, I would ask her if she could hear me and knowing I would stop if she did, she would say “no John Wayne, I can’t” and I would continue to sing! She also told the story on how she heard me crying in the bathroom when I was about 5 years old and when she asked me why, I said Mom, I just wrote a sad song… she made sacrifices to send me to vocal lessons. We were a coal mining family and extra money wasn’t always available, but she would make sure there was always money put aside for my lessons.
Tickets for John Gracie are available at the Yorkton Arts Council, at Welcome Home Floral and Gift Shop, at the door, or on-line at www.yorktonarts.ca