Holidays

Brickman finds magic in Christmas tour

It seems like the holiday season comes earlier and earlier these days, and Jim Brickman can prove it. He started his holiday tour more than a week ago, conjuring images of Santa, snow and shopping with his performances.

"It's the beginning of the season, that's for sure," Brickman said while calling from Baltimore. "But by the time I get to Wichita, it'll be about a month before Christmas. It'll certainly be a good time for the songs of the season."

Brickman, who turned 48 Friday, should know. He's on his 14th consecutive Christmas tour.

"It's a wonderful time," Brickman said. "There's an emotional connection with these songs. It's connected to romance, friendship. There's nostalgia. I think back to those Andy Williams television specials when I was a child. There's something magical about Christmas music."

The new-age pianist is well aware, however, that holiday music is ubiquitous starting in late November. Brickman knows that folks could be overwhelmed by the usual concert blitz.

"I would be foolish if I didn't take that into consideration," he said. "You're inundated with the holidays at this time of year. There (are) your children's plays, you hear the holiday songs in church and in department stores. It's a wonderful time of year but I do offer something a little different."

Brickman's performance is comprised of holiday standards and romantic tunes, which he has penned throughout his 25-year career.

"I think it's a good combination," he said. "Christmas is about love and where there is love, there is romance. I try not to pick sappy holiday songs. I like the more traditional songs like 'Do You Hear What I Hear' and 'O Holy Night.' Those type of songs sound beautiful on the piano."

Brickman, who will perform Monday at Century II, doesn't go it alone on his tours. He will share a stage with some friends and crack musicians. Singer-songwriters Victoria Shaw and Mark Masri, violinist Tracy Silverman and multi-instrumentalist Garrett Viggers will flank Brickman.

"Going out with these great musicians, who are fun to be with, makes this a special tour," Brickman said. "It's appropriate that I'll be playing Wichita just before Thanksgiving, since I know how much I have to be thankful for."

If you go

jim brickman

What: The New Age pianist brings his Beautiful World Tour to Wichita

Where: Century II Concert Hall

When: 7:30 p.m. Mon.

How much: Tickets $39, $49 at www.wichitatix.com, 316-219-4TIX. Information, 316-264-9121.

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