Singing and sharing songs from his heart
By Sue Baldani
The iconic Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown will be welcoming Grammy-award winning artist Michael Bolton on Wednesday, December 7, at 7:30 pm. Performing some of his most beloved classics such as “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “How Can We Be Lovers,” the audience will be able to see, hear and feel the music deep in their souls.
Thanks to his many albums, including a Christmas album, fans can also enjoy listening to Bolton’s music all year long and wherever they may be. Here, this Connecticut guy shares more about his life and love for music.
Tell me about some of your favorite holiday traditions.
The best holiday gift is being able to be home with my daughters and grandchildren which doesn’t get to happen too often due to my constant tour schedule. But when we can all gather at my home in Connecticut it’s the most wonderful time of the year!!
For your This is the Time Christmas album, how did you select which songs to include? Do you have a favorite?
I tend to choose classics in much of my work because they run deep in the DNA of multiple generations and that familiarity of a song connects with people in a personal way that may carry meaning of a time or place in their lives. It’s always a great feeling when the audience can sing along to the songs you’re performing. [Another popular song, It’s Christmas Time, was released in 2020.]
For your Greatest Hits and Holiday Favorites show at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ, this December, what songs are you most looking forward to performing?
I always look forward to performing my hits because they’re what have fueled me and my career and what the audience has come to hear! Over the years many fans have shared with me how songs like “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” or “Time, Love & Tenderness” have marked important moments in their lives or gotten them through tough times. So we get to share in that experience. And then there’s just the feel good songs which let people just get out of their seat and enjoy!
After so many years of sharing your music with your fans, what do you love the most about performing?
I love singing. It’s always been my first love. Stepping up to the mic and allowing my heart and soul to express through music is the greatest gift for me.
It seems like the world is finally starting to come back after COVID. As a performer, it must have been difficult to not be able to perform for a live audience. How did you keep your music alive while the world was shut down?
It was very surreal and tragic for everyone in different ways. For me to get through and still fuel the creativity, I focused on songwriting and did many Zoom sessions to create songs for my new album. It was great getting the time for that in spite of the reason. But we also managed to stay really busy shooting commercials and TV shows with COVID compliance protocols in place, and I started the writing and recording process for my new podcast. Of course I’m absolutely thrilled to be touring again though it’s made finishing some of those other projects more challenging.
How do you want people to feel when listening to your songs?
The important part is that they feel! Whatever they feel is so personal to them but the whole goal is to move people emotionally. To connect.
It’s almost going to be 30 years since you started Michael Bolton Charities. How has the mission of this organization changed and grown throughout the years, especially after COVID ? What are a couple of the charitable organizations it supports that especially touch your heart?
The mission hasn’t changed – we are focused on providing support resources and interventions to assist women and children at risk of domestic violence. Over the years, we have realized that we also need to place focus on interventions that can reduce violent behaviors for the future. We are very proud of our Beyond Trauma Youth Music Therapy programs that help to reduce violent behaviors in young people who are exposed to violence in their everyday lives. We also helped establish a family justice center in New England. This one-stop shop service and support to women affected by domestic violence provides relief at the right time in the right place.
What is one thing you would like people to know about you that hasn’t been publicized, or that would surprise people?
I’m actually a very shy guy!
Tickets are on sale now at https://www.mayoarts.org/. Come out and experience an amazing concert and a chance to sing out loud!
Written for Morris City Lifestyle magazine in New Jersey.