An intimate evening with David Foster

An intimate evening with David Foster
MICHAEL D. REID / TIMES COLONIST
MAY 6, 2013

Piers Morgan wasn’t at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel Saturday night, but you could say he was there in spirit, says David Foster.

The colourful British CNN talk show host’s reputation as a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants personality inadvertently inspired Foster to be able to pull off his impromptu David Foster Foundation fundraiser, his Victoria-born friend said.

“I just thought of Piers and how impressed I am with how he can do those interviews on the fly,” said Foster, whose ritzy black-tie dinner and concert that also opened the David Foster Foundation Theatre brought to $284,000 the amount raised for the foundation by the hotel since its $52-million makeover.

Owners Kevin and Shawna Walker have pledged $2 million over 10 years.

The Grammy Award-winning musician hastily enlisted Fernando Varela, the Puerto Rican tenor he discovered on YouTube; classical crossover sensation William Joseph; and Los Angeles singer and longtime collaborator Nita Whitaker for the loosest concert yet in the 26-year history of the foundation that assists families with children who need organ transplants.

The anything-goes “intimate evening” was full of surprises as Foster, 63, breezed along on a wing and The Prayer, his pop-opera hit sung by Whitaker and Varela, whose high notes almost shattered wine glasses.

After Foster predicted he had Pavarotti potential, Varela thanked him for his support.

“Yeah, five years from now when I call him it’ll be like, ‘How’d you get this number?’ ” Foster joked.

Georgia Murray, the Victoria-based singer there with father Craig, owner of Nimmo Bay Resort, was cajoled onstage to deliver an impassioned take on Summertime.

“You’re a lot hotter than your brother,” Foster quipped, referring to The Tenors’ Clifton Murray.

“And he wears more makeup than me!” she replied.

Offstage, Murray recalled Kevin Walker gave her her first job when she was 18, singing on the hotel’s dinner cruises.

She also recalled her childhood at Nimmo Bay, where dad played guitar and she and Clifton sang for guests, adding with a laugh: “I learned The Little Mermaid when I was five and, unannounced to my parents, I sang it for the guests.”

Guest services attendant Daniela Jackson got her 15 minutes of fame, wowing guests with Bonnie Raitt’s Something to Talk About. Walker has been singing her praises since hearing Jackson sing Happy Birthday to guests.

Kathleen Burton, Victoria Hospice director of development, also got an ovation after singing Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.

Other highlights included Whitaker’s soaring versions of It’s Got to Be Real and I Will Always Love You; Varela’s rendition of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma; and Phoenix-based Joseph’s wizardry on the grand piano starting with Led Zeppelin’s Cashmere.

“The best way to describe my music is that it sounds like soundtracks to films that haven’t been written,” said the genial musician who has performed here four times since Foster discovered him 10 years ago.

This visit was more relaxing than his last, he said.

“We drove to the wrong side of the Island the day of the show, three hours in the wrong direction,” he recalled.

Foster was relaxed and self-deprecating, even acknowledging his blunders.

“If you do that song, it’ll ruin your career,” he said, recalling his reaction when Celine Dion said she wanted to do My Heart Will Go On.

“I hated that song then, and I still hate that song,” deadpanned Foster, whose musical flashback included passages from Chicago’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry and You’re the Inspiration; the Earth Wind and Fire hit After the Love Is Gone; and Wildflower, the 1970s Skylark hit he wrote with David Richardson, the retired Saanich cop who used his proceeds to feed the homeless in Israel.

Foster also elicited laughter recalling his years playing at the old Century Inn and Red Lion.

“I couldn’t play in the bar because I was only 16, so they cut a hole in the wall and I played on a platform beside the bar on the restaurant side.”

Foster didn’t even mind being overshadowed by his wife Yolanda Foster, one of the stars of the reality TV show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

“I’m just a girl from Holland,” she said, smiling. “I’m not really from Beverly Hills. I just try to fit in.”

mreid@timescolonist.com

© Copyright 2013

Interview: David speaking about William Joseph

 

William Joseph

 

From VancouverSun.com:

BY CHANTAL EUSTACE, VANCOUVER SUN

William Joseph knew that a chance to tickle the ivories for Canadian hit-maker David Foster was a big deal.

It turned out to be a life-changing opportunity.

Foster was so impressed by Joseph’s talent during that encounter five years ago, he asked the former piano teacher to perform in his place that very night at a charity concert.

“A standing ovation later, I was invited out to David’s house in Malibu and then he said, ‘I want to sign you to Warner Brothers,’ ” Joseph says, speaking by phone from his home in Phoenix. “So right after that, I went on tour with Josh Groban.”

Today, the so-called “classical pop” pianist is headlining his own tour, hot off the heels of his second album, Beyond.

He’s being asked to write music for the likes of Celine Dion, and his sweeping music — it blends rock elements with soundtrack-worthy anthems — is attracting more and more fans.

Foster, credited with discovering talent like Groban and Michael Buble, saw something in Joseph right away.

Or, as the music legend puts it, a new “slot” or niche to fill.

“Way back, long before your time, there used to be piano players that were instrumentalists that had hit records back in the ’60s and ’70s,” Foster says.

“And that’s what I think, potentially, William could fill that slot of just being a piano player that makes hit instrumental music.

“There hasn’t been a hit instrumental in a long time. There used to be one every month.”

It’s hard to make modern comparisons to Joseph, though.

“I was kind of going for a Josh Groban without the vocals kind of approach,” says Foster, speaking by phone from his recording studio in Santa Monica, busy working with Buble on his next album.

But it’s tough to build an audience for an artist within a unique genre — especially for an artist who doesn’t sing.

“[Joseph] has got to get out there and keep touring and get the word out because radio isn’t going to spread the word for him and it’s hard to get him on television because he doesn’t sing,” says Foster.

But Joseph is a great live performer, he says. A must-see, according to Foster’s expert assessment.

“When you go see him, it’s so entertaining,” says Foster, describing the experience as emotional.

“He takes you on a real journey and you get right into his world for 90 minutes. It’s awesome.”

Joseph, who began playing piano at age four, is equally effusive about Foster. He says he’s learned a lot by working with the multiple-Grammy winning producer, songwriter and musician.

Foster taught him about the importance of a strong melody, he says, adding this is reflected in the music on Beyond, which Foster also produced.

“It sounds like a movie score to a film that hasn’t been written,” Joseph says.

As for Foster, he says he loves to promote new talent like Joseph.

“To me, any time I can be part of some kind of new discovery of any kind of new talent — whether it’s a singer or an instrumentalist — I think it just makes me look better,” says Foster.

He’s modest about his success finding new talent.

“All I’m trying to do is figure out what people like,” he says, adding that what he likes seems to appeal to many people.

“I think I just have a common ear.”

 

Video: William Joseph at Iowa Public Television

 

William Joseph

 

Terri Hale interviews pianist William Joseph, a David Foster prodigy, at Iowa Public Television during Festival 2009.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

“Sweet Remembrance of You”:

“A Mother’s Heart”:

“Within”:

“Piano Fantasy”:

David to direct Celebrity Fight Night XV

 

Celebrity Fight Night

 

Recognized as one of the nation’s elite charity events, Celebrity Fight Night is a star-studded evening presented in honor of featured guest, Muhammad Ali. Celebrities and professional athletes from all over the country participate in a night filled with incredible Live Auction items and live musical performances by many of today’s brightest stars.

David Foster is once again the music director.

The 2009 Celebrity Fight Night will be held on March 28th at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix.
Reba McEntire will return for her 4th consecutive appearance as the evening’s emcee of the event. Jon Bon Jovi, Roy Firestone, Charice, Michael Johns, Lucia Micarelli, William Joseph and Ethan Bortnick will all be performing at the event. Michael Phelps, Stewart Rahr and Kurt Warner will be honored as leaders in the sports and business communities and accept the Muhammad Ali Award.

Article: Bocelli, Bublè, Groban and Charice

 

David Foster

 

From AsianJournal.com:

LAS VEGAS – “Tonight, a star is born!”

With those words, Grammy-award winning composer and producer David Foster officially welcomed Charice to the musical world. And with those words, Charice made it to the consciousness of the audience inside the jampacked concert hall, who trooped to Vegas to watch a tribute to the musical genius that is Foster.

The event was the star-studded David Foster & Friends concert held Friday, May 23 at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. It was an almost fourhour musical extravaganza that featured tour de force performances from Foster’s friends such as Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Katharine McPhee, Peter Cetera, Brian McKnight, Babyface, and Boz Scaggs.

Charice, a day after the once in a lifetime show, was still on a natural high the following day when we had a chance to chat. She was the penultimate performer to take the stage and Foster introduced her as someone whose talent “you’ve never seen before”. She sang a medley of I Have Nothing and I Will Always Love You, from the movie TheBodyguard.

After her stellar performance, the audience rose to its feet and awarded her with a standing ovation. Trying to contain her tears, Charice exchanged high-fives with Foster.

Only three other performers received a standing ovation when they performed, and rightly so.

Foster received his the moment he entered the stage, Bocelli got his in each and every song he did and Groban got his standing ovation after his four-song set.

After her medley, Charice performed And I Am Telling You, the song that catapulted her into world-wide YouTube fame. With such poise, grace and precision, the young singer belted her way out of the Dreamgirls song and earned yet another standing ovation from the audience. Charice approached Foster and they hugged.

This was when the audience got up on their feet and cheered for the young singer. “That was just incredible. I can’t think of anybody who can top that,” Foster said, “Charice, don’t forget that name.”

Concert viewers are one in claiming that Charice more than delivered the goods that night.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, “If Groban is one of Foster’s most renowned discoveries, this night truly belonged to a newer one, doe-eyed 16-year-old Filipino belter Charice, whose voice is like a jetliner taking off from her sternum.”

In between the medley and her second song, Charice responded to Foster’s question about her and where she came from.

“I’m from the Philippines and I started singing when I was 4,” she said, and the Filipinos applauded wildly. “May mga Pilipino ba diyan?” she asked, and was met by louder screams.

The Others

Tennis legend Andre Agassi introduced Foster and said that it was a great honor for him to introduce one of the greatest musical talents of our time. “He started with a vision, then it became a calling, and now it is a movement,” Agassi said as he described Foster’s other passion aside from music.

The musician has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for his own foundation which assists families with children in need of organ transplants and other causes such as the fight against cancer and AIDS.

One by one, a cavalcade of stars happened and performed a song or two with the man of the hour.

Kenny G, Michael Johns, Brian McKnight, Katharine McPhee, jazz artist Renee Olstead, Cheryl Lynn, country singer Blake Shelton, Boz Scaggs, Eric Benet, Peter Cetera and Andrea Bocelli, who was the finale of the first part of the show.

The second half opened with pianist William Joseph, followed by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Michael Buble, then Charice and Josh Groban, who served as the evening’s finale, and as Foster said, “the only one person tonight who can follow Charice”. Groban performed five songs, including his signature hit You Raise Me Up and a duet of Bridge Over Troubled Water with McKnight.

“He is going to be around for a very, very long time,” Foster said of Groban. The illustrious Bocelli, who flew from Tuscany just for the show, had a larger than life stage persona and the audience just lapped at every song he sang. I had goosebumps listening to the man. To describe him as amazing would be an understatement.

He performed The Prayer with American Idol alum McPhee, who was just resplendent and captivating every time she appeared onstage. McPhee’s natural charm and her melodious voice are a potent combination. Michael Buble was the wild one in the bunch. He goofed around both in his performances and during the spiels. It was a welcome sight, especially for those who always see him in very formal clothes during very formal gatherings. He had spot numbers and sang Save the Last Dance for Me and his own duet, with country crooner Shelton as they sang their hit Home.

“I truly had no idea of the magnitude of his talent,” Foster said of Buble before he introduced the singer.

The $2 million one-night only musical event was filmed for broadcast this December on all PBS stations nationwide while the CD/DVD of the show will be released by Warner Bros. this fall.

Link: Click to read the complete article

 

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Charice at David Foster & friends Concert part1
Charice at David Foster & friends Concert part2
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