Disclaimer: Please to forgive the grainy photos. I was in the back. With my iphone. I'm sad about it, too.
When I was invited with one other blogger to attend a last minute invitation-only in-house concert in my home city, I had no idea what I was in for. I didn't know what to expect from the evening; so I grabbed my good friend and fellow music lover Mikelle and a green smoothie and headed into the rainy evening. Embarrassingly, I thought - sure! I'm always up for helping to support and promote local talent.
I learned very quickly that the performers I enjoyed last night didn't need any kind of promoting, and those of us lucky enough to attend last night's performance basked in a constant wash of talent so fine that when William Joseph made his final bow and thank-you and the applause finally died down, we all stood and reeled and staggered about with wide eyes, whispering, "wow".
William Joseph owns the piano. He was charismatic and good looking (amiright?) and told engaging stories and was a warm and delightful performer - but when he sat down at the piano (and all I could see was his mess of dark hair swaying and bobbing above the audience's heads from where I was sitting in the back) it was something else entirely. We were all transported to his head-place by the music he created - sometimes spontaneously! - and it was a wonderful, wonderful ride.
Just so you know - William was discovered by David Foster (responsible for discovering talents like Celine Dion, Michael Buble' and Josh Groban) when he asked if he could play David's piano at an event, and David said, "Sure, play something." He sat down to play an original composition, and Foster started leading, bringing in other musicians until William had an orchestra fleshing out his sound. After a standing ovation, Foster said, "Are you coming tonight?" But the $800/plate event was a bit steep for newlywed William Joseph. Foster said, "Nonsense. You're coming tonight, and you're the opening act."
Next thing he knew, William was touring with Josh Groban. And the rest is history.
But, like, a really really musically gifted history.
When he played A Mother's Heart, he dedicated it to all the mothers in the room. He said he had so much respect for mothers and the unseen work we do every day.
|"I was sitting right next to Dick Chaney, and I was like, please don't talk to me!"|
He got so animated talking about his latest project, Be Still. He said he had been wanting to do an album of Hymns for forever! He said his favorite hymn is Come Thou Fount. The simplicity of the melody makes his soul ache. I loved that. And when he was finished playing it, I may have seen him make a quick brush at his eye with his sleeve.
He told the story of a time when he was 14 and asked to play for a wedding. In a mall. He got distracted while playing the wedding march and ended up playing...
William played (and bantered) with his friend and fellow musician Aaron Ashton. Aaron played the violin - so you know I felt an affinity - and the two of them completely filled that room with their two instruments. Mikelle leaned over and whispered, "there can't be just one piano and one violin."
|Aaron Ashton breaking out into some Irish fiddling|
William and Aaron were delightful. The venue perfect (thank you, Dyer family, for opening your home to us for the evening! You have very talented daughters!).
|"The Stage" at the Dyer home|
I felt very small next to such talent, but screwed up my courage and thought of Jenny (who meets incredible talent and does this sort of thing all the time, it seems!) and asked for a picture with William and Aaron.
|Mikelle, the talented William Joseph, & Me - I'm always so surprised by how round my face is.|
|Just a couple of violinists! But just one that's, you know, nationally recognized.|
They were delightful in person - and William may have invited us to the release party a few weeks from now. Details pending.
If you're feeling sad that you missed this - don't despair. I have a signed copy of Wiliam Joseph's latest CD to give to one of my readers! I know, right?
I've been listening to my own copy, and it's wonderful.
Leave me a comment telling me why you'd like to win.
Extra entries for tweets and blog mentions (please mention these in a separate comment)
Giveaway will close Sunday, midnight. Winner announced Monday.
Like always, I hope you ALL win!