Stellar northern California musicians — Anni McCann, Kimberly Bass, Eleanore MacDonald, Paul Emery, Pat Jacobsen, Peter Wilson, Stephen Holland, Perry Mills, Murray Campbell, Beau Askew, Tom Schmidt, Brady Mills & Arthur Gould will be on stage in both acoustic and electric ensembles.
The 2019 version includes San Francisco light show pioneer, George Holden. In 1960s-1970s, he created light shows at the Fillmore and Maritime Hall behind the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Santana and many more. He was one of the featured artists in Berkeley in May 2017 at the Pacific Film Archives "Headlights" concert as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. Recently, he has presented at the Crocker Museum, The Crest Theatre, The Harris Center in Folsom and The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. The lightshow and live cinema accompanying the large live ensemble presentation brings dramatic vintage images and footage of Cohen http://www.liquidlightshow.org/
A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Songs of Leonard Cohen is the successful creative production of KVMR News Director and foothills promoter/musician Paul Emery. In 2011, the group assembled for three sold-out evenings at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley and went on to perform at the Nevada Theatre and 24th Street Theatre in Sacramento. They have since performed the show a total of eighteen
About the Show:
Four decades after he emerged as a public literary figure and then a performer, Leonard Cohen remains one of the most compelling and fascinating musical figures of his era, and one of the very few from that time who still commands as much respect and attention, and probably as large an audience, in the 21st century as he did in the 1960s.
“For some people Cohen’s music is just beginning to resonate,” Emery said. “His melodies are timeless. His poetry is deep and profound, and constantly offers new insights and reactions years after their first hearing. The lyrical depth and beauty of Leonard Cohen's music is an endless well of inspiration to those who love his music. The songs never grow old and each performance reveals a new layer of inspiration to the audience and players alike.”
Singer Kimberly Bass adds, “His music has a richness that stirs the soul. For me, it’s the way he looks at the world and our humanness, our nakedness in this harsh yet beautiful world.”
As writer Jonathan Freedland wrote in his illuminating 2015 article in The Atlantic, "Leonard Cohen, Judaism's Bard," ---"One of his most enduring lyrics comes in “Anthem.” It is a verse to alleviate the gloom, urging human beings to see the beauty in their own flaws, to believe that even sadness can lead to joy.“Forget your perfect offering,” he sings, “There is a crack in everything. It's how the light gets in.”
It's a humane, tender idea, but few might realize that it’s drawn from the deepest well of kabbalah. According to the 16th century rabbi and mystic, Isaac Luria, God created vessels into which he poured his holy light. These vessels weren’t strong enough to contain such a powerful force and they shattered: the sparks of divine light were carried down to earth along with the broken shards. Put another way: "There is a crack in everything, it's how the light gets in."
The idea to organize the tribute show came to Emery after traveling with local musician Anni McCann to see Cohen on his 2010 World Tour.
“Paul and I had both just seen his live show, where you could say he quite literally levitated his audience,” said McCann, who sings iconic Cohen songs such as “Dance Me to the End of Love” and “Joan of Arc” with Emery during the show.
“When Paul asked about doing a show to celebrate Cohen’s music, at first I thought, ‘What the heck are you thinking Paul? Leonard is still touring!’ Then I began combing through his extensive list of recordings, all the while discovering the vast richness of his repertoire. I was definitely in!”
Emery spent months listening to all of Cohen’s music. He set out to capture the instrumentation and arrangements of the music and band on that tour, specifically Cohen’s use of a variety of singers to carry the vocals. Emery reached out to the many local musicians he had worked with over the last 40 years on various productions to see if they were game. Bassist Pat Jacobsen became the show’s music director and took leadership of charting all of the arrangements and leading the band in rehearsals and on stage through over 17 of Cohen’s songs, including “Suzanne,” “I’m Your Man” and “Hallelujah”, among others.