Jose Feliciano has been acclaimed by critics throughout the world as "the greatest living guitarist." Guitar Magazine has awarded him "Best Pop Guitarist" for five years running, and has placed him in their Gallery of the Greats. He has also been voted both Best Jazz and Best Rock Guitarist in the Playboy Magazine readers poll numerous times. Jose has received over forty Gold and Platinum records; has won twelve Grammy nominations, receiving six Awards and is in receipt of countless prestigious awards world over.
Being constantly in demand to perform all over the world Jose has played in front of Royalty and behind what used to be the Iron Curtain. He has enjoyed performing with top Symphony Orchestras including the London Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the famous Vienna Symphony. He has also appeared on major television shows worldwide and has done a number of his own television specials.
Jose was born blind, to humble beginnings, on September 10, 1945, in Lares, Puerto Rico. One of eleven boys, his love affair with music began at the age of three when he first accompanied his uncle on a tin cracker can.
When he was five, his family immigrated to New York City. Young Jose learned to play the concertina at age six, using a handful of records as his teacher. At eight, he performed for his classmates at PS 57, and at age nine, performed at the Puerto Rican Theater. Tiring of accordion, he taught himself to play the guitar with undaunted determination and again, nothing but records as his teacher for as many as 14 hours every day. Exposed to the rock-n-roll of the 50s, Jose was then inspired to also try singing.
At 17, Jose quit school. His father was not working at the time and he needed to help out. He played coffeehouses in Greenwich Village. For his salary they passed the hat. He played his first professional engagement that same year in Detroit. Shortly thereafter a music critic writing of his performance at Gerdes Folk City referred to him as a "10-fingered wizard who romps, runs, picks and reverberates his six string in an incomparable fashion." And added, "If you want to witness the birth of a star, catch Mr. Feliciano before he leaves tomorrow night." By the time he was 23, he has won two Grammy Awards, had performed over much of the world, and had recorded songs in four languages. But Jose was not satisfied. He has a desire to expand his career to include acting and made a number of dramatic TV appearances.
Recently, he was invited by legendary Author Ray Bradbury to write the music to his play, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit," and did so, with the grace of a veteran, adding again to his list of achievements in the category of musical assignments which before had included only television themes and film scores. One of Joses most memorable moments came the day he joined other entertainment legends in having his star permanently implanted on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Feliciano earned his sixth Grammy Award in 1991, and is the only performer who has won pop music award in two languages categories. He was recently nominated for the 12th time for "Latin Street 92." He has signed a history making multi-tier record contract with EMI Records LTD to record English pop, Spanish pop and classical. New York City renamed Public School 155 in East Harlem and dedicated "The Jose Feliciano Performing Arts School."
Three songs that have been milestones for Jose are "Light My Fire", which was number one on the charts in 1967; "Che Sera", a huge success in Europe, Asia and South American and, of course, "Feliz Navidad", the Christmas song that has now become a traditional worldwide during the holiday season every year.
Over the years, the world has enjoyed many Feliciano songs including "Rain", "Chico and The Man", "California Dreamin", "Destiny", "Affirmation", "Av Carino", "Pointe A Cantar", "Cuando El Amor Se Acaba", "Porque Te Tengo Que Olvidar?" and here in America, Jose is still remembered as being the first person to stylize the "Star Spangled Banner" before a sporting event, putting the National Anthem, for the first time, on the contemporary record charts.
Jose and his wife, Susan have been together since 1971. In 1988 they were blessed with daughter, Melissa and on June 25, 1991 with their son, Jonathan Jose Feliciano. He lives in Fairfield County Connecticut, in a 260+ year old colonial home on the Saugatuck River and his passions include writing and recording in his studio, baseball – both playing and listening to it on the radio – and being a dad. In July of 1995, Jose and Susan had their third child.