David and Jim still believe in magic

Got to believe in magic

Tell me how two people find each other

In a world that’s full of strangers

You’ve got to believe in magic

Somethin’ stronger than the moon above

‘Cause it’s magic when two people fall in love

— from David Pomeranz’s hit song

The first thing that greeted me as soon as I opened my Messenger five days ago was this: “Hi, Ricky. Hope all is well. David is doing a special online concert with Jim Brickman on Feb. 20 and we were wondering if you might like to interview them both.”

The message was from David Pomeranz’s wife Kelly. I texted back, “By all means, yes!” They are my long-time friends and they used to stay for long periods in Manila and they have become like adopted Pinoys.

A day after, David texted me, “I am in Florida and Jim is in Ohio. And you are in Manila. Wild, right?”

And magic, too. Thanks to technology, us three got connected as if we were just next door to each other. We do believe in the magic of technology as much as, according to the stanza from David’s song used as intro for this piece, we believe in something stronger than the moon above ‘cause it’s magic when two people fall in love. Hmmm, lusot? (Laughter!!!)

Be prepared for An Evening with Jim Brickman and David Pomeranz on Feb. 20 (for tickets, turn to http://bit.ly/pomeranzandbrickman).

I presume it’s your first time to do an online/virtual concert with both of you coming from separate locations. How different do you think it would be from having a live audience (and in this case, how effectively can you connect/interact with an “invisible” audience)?

David: Yes, it’s the first time we’ve tried this together but we found a way to be in the same room to do it. Jim has a cool set-up in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and we will be in the same space. Although it’s not an interactive concert, per se, where we’ll be taking requests from fans, I think people are going to love seeing the two of us in a very laid-back setting playing our music and communicating together. It’s going to be very personal in this way. Afterwards, there will be a “Meet and Greet” VIP option where we will be able to respond to individuals and get to meet one another that way.

Jim: We actually did do it together and it has become something that I’m used to because I did 50 shows at Christmas and in some ways, there are positive things about it.

Have you performed together before and for this online concert, what kind of repertoire have you drawn up (criteria in selecting the songs)?

David: This will be the first time for us to be performing together and admiring Jim and his music as I do. It’s clear that our music fits together perfectly. Suffice to say, we’re both excited and we’ll each be playing many of our romantic hits (from Born For You to Valentine) with lots of surprises in store!

Jim: I’ve never performed with David. In fact, we didn’t know each other until a couple of months ago. I’ve always been a fan of David’s and known how popular he was around the world and how similar styles we had. It was easy to decide on the songs because both of us have been thankful to have a lot of hits so those were the ones we did.

During this pandemic, how does music help ease people’s heart, mind and spirit?

David: There is no better medicine for the heart, mind and spirit than music, whenever I lose my way in life and feel nervous or afraid, it brings me home and makes me feel like “me” again. It always does that for me and it has during the pandemic, for sure.

Jim: Music soothes the soul. It lets you escape, it lets you relax and it lets you calm down. I don’t know anyone who listens to music that doesn’t feel that way to a certain extent.

If you did, have you come up with new songs during this pandemic?

David: Yes. I’ve been writing two new stage musicals — one of which has to do with the Philippines, which you will hear about soon — and I’m also conceptualizing a new David album with new songs. Also, a new podcast about the art of songwriting. It’s been a creative time.

Jim: I always write a lot of songs whether I’m busy or even during my downtime. Ideas come to me when they come, and then I play and record what I feel like it.

Generally, what’s the happiest/saddest song have you ever heard in your whole life?

David: That’s a good one. The happiest is We Built This City On Rock And Roll! That song always gets me jumping up and down and singing along. The saddest is one written by Irving Berlin called Always. It’s a love song he wrote for his just deceased wife and although it’s an absolutely gorgeous and positive love song, filled with future, just knowing what made him write it makes me feel sad. Listen to that song and see if it doesn’t make you cry.

Jim: Over The Rainbow.

How do you envision a post-pandemic concert will be held?

David: Same as before. Just have to convince people that it’s safe to gather and be in close quarters again. It’s unnatural for any government or proclamation to keep us apart and it will be up to us to decide, when we’re ready. I, personally, can’t wait to get back to the Philippines and perform for my friends and fans again there!

Jim: That’s entirely up to the theater and the venues, and I’ll follow any protocols that they provide.

In hindsight, recall your most memorable concert in the Philippines (and why so).

David: My most memorable was playing back-to-back with Lea Salonga at Resorts World a few years back. We created a show that was absolutely extraordinary! We had a section where we sang medleys of songs that always made us cry. It was hilarious in rehearsals because we couldn’t get through many of them without bawling and then we’d just break up laughing because these songs were so intensely beautiful and meant so much to us that we just couldn’t get it together. When we did finally perform them onstage, we were professional about it but everyone could feel the raw emotion and it was a really standout evening for me. Incidentally, I’m looking forward to my evening with Jim as it will be a musical hug from us — something touching, warm and fun for this Valentine’s season — and we hope it will bring joy and comfort to Filipinos everywhere.

Jim: I’ve always loved playing in the Philippines, and I am so grateful for the love and support. I think what stands out was the one with featured guests like Martin Nievera, Sharon Cuneta, Pops Fernandez and Erik Santos.

(For tickets to An Evening with Jim Brickman and David Pomeranz, visit http://bit.ly/pomeranzandbrickman.)

(E-mail reactions at [email protected] For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)



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