By Deena Wolfe

After his successful concert in Sydney, music legend Jose Mari Chan captivated the hearts of the Melbourne crowd with his original classics during a matinee pre-Christmas concert dubbed “Christmas in Our Hearts” on 2 December at the Williamstown Hall.

Chan, spanning five decades of music career as a singer-composer since 1967, serenaded the audience with his greatest hits – “Afterglow”, “Thank You, Love”, “A Love to Last a Lifetime”, “Refrain”, “Beautiful Girl” and more, sharing stories behind each song along the way. Listening to his music with those catchy melodies you’ve heard for many years from the great artist himself was indeed incredible. But discovering more details about the songs (i.e. time it was written, his inspiration, who the message was for), was inspiring and moving. It made one appreciate and relate more with the songs and connect more with the artist 

Chan’s charm, sweet and gentle voice, his touching lyrics – sort of expected as these are his signature character, what Chan was known for.  What big surprise and an added treat during the concert was the revelation of another side of Chan – a comedian at heart, witty and with impeccable sense of humor. He was sharing jokes and hilarious stories to the audience in between his romantic songs, turning smiles into laughter. It was totally a breathtaking experience, figuratively and literally! 

Supporting Chan and adding more spice to the already love-filled night were Melbourne-based local talents led by the amazing musician-singer Triccia “Inday” Celestial; romantic balladeer Herbert Fangon; the powerhouse Addy Kim; sweet Martina Suzanne Pedorse and the enchanting diva Joy Go, who performed a duet with Chan in “Please be Careful with My Heart” and the ultimate Christmas hit “Christmas in our Hearts.”   

In a brief interview with Chan, he expressed his appreciation to the Melbourne audience and the producers of the show. “Thank you very much to the lovely people of Melbourne. Thank you for the warm reception, coming to my concert and sharing the love songs that I have written all these years. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  I wish you continued good health, happiness and prosperity.”

Presented by Liz Honey Promotions, “Christmas in our Hearts Concert” was indeed a great way to wrap up 2018. No doubt in my mind that Chan’s Christmas concert was one of the most memorable music events in Melbourne. Is it the music? Is it the voice? Or the lyrics? Or maybe his wit and impeccable sense of humour? What really makes Jose Mari Chan memorable – ALL OF IT!

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