Norwalk, CT - On December 18 at 7:30pm at the Wall Street Theatre, the 2021 Norwalk Film Festival (NFF) will present, in its festival lineup, a special screening of “Behind this Guitar,” a documentary about the life and music of 30-year Connecticut resident, Jose Feliciano. The film outlines Jose’s remarkable journey from being born bind, raised in the slums of Puerto Rico, to becoming a 9-time Grammy Award-winner and an internationally famous music icon. Watch the film’s official trailer here: https://www.norwalkfilmfestival.org/behind-this-guitar. Tickets available here.
"Behind this Guitar" highlights insightful aspects of Jose Feliciano’s colorful career. Feliciano, who has been acclaimed by critics around the world as “the greatest living guitarist” has also been referred to as “the Picasso of his realm.” He has been awarded over forty-five Gold and Platinum records; he has won nineteen Grammy nominations, earning nine Grammy Awards, including the LARAS Award for Lifetime Achievement. His career has been immortalized with a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, while New York city honored him by renaming Public School 155 in East Harlem, “The Jose Feliciano Performing Arts School.” Highlighted in the film is Jose’s 1970 writing of “Feliz Navidad.” With its simple, heartfelt lyrics - the traditional Spanish Christmas/New Year’s greeting “Feliz Navidad, prosero ana y felicidad,” followed in English with “I wanna wish you a Merry Chrtistmas from the bottom of my heart” - it has become a Christmas classic popular around the world. It’s altogether fitting that it would be screened by the Norwalk Film Festival one week before Christmas!The film also depicts Jose's unique stylized performance of the Star Spangled Banner in 1968 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Although many artists have since stylized the song with their own flavor, including Jim Hendrix, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé, Feliciano had been the first national artist to do this, and faced considerable controversy and backlash at the time. Yet the film comes full circle to his receiving a hero’s welcome back to Tiger Stadium, in one of the many poignant moments in the film.