courtesy photoComposer Jim Brickman appears in two different Bay Area Cabaret shows at the Venetian Room with singer-actor David Burnham.

courtesy photoComposer Jim Brickman appears in two different Bay Area Cabaret shows at the Venetian Room with singer-actor David Burnham.

Jim Brickman plays music for any age

He has been categorized as new age, but composer-pianist Jim Brickman likes to think of himself as good for any age. He is prepared to show listeners why in two different Bay Area Cabaret shows at the Venetian Room this weekend.

“Categories of music only exist because of things like the Grammy awards, Billboard Magazine, and where to put it in a retail store,” says the twice-Grammy-nominated performer. “One of the things that I love about what Target does for me is they don’t try to label it as something, they just call it the Jim Brickman section.”

That section has helped Brickman achieve gold and platinum status on six albums. “After duets with everybody from Lady Antebellum to Johnny Mathis, I’m just not exactly sure that new age would be accurate,” he says, laughing.

Duets are in the works for Sunday, too, when Brickman performs with frequent Bay Area visitor David Burnham. Brickman has been delighted to learn laughter is a trait he shares with the Broadway singer-actor, who will be his guest at both shows. “I think we’re going to have a lot of fun together. We have a similar patter and sense of humor,” he says.

Labels and categories notwithstanding, the intimacy of this thing called cabaret appeals to Brickman, who thinks of himself primarily as a songwriter. “As people start to know your music, you yearn for the ability to have more of an unplugged experience, per se. To have a more intimate conversation with the audience about why the songs are what they are.”

It’s a feeling that stems from being in what he calls “a more at-ease” phase of his career.

“It comes more out of desire and less out of other people’s suggestions or a label thing. There’s not as much ‘You know what you should do?’ in my life as there used to be from other people. I drive most of the choices about what happens next.”

His most recent “next” was recording “The Magic of Christmas,” which joins more than a half-dozen other holiday-themed Brickman titles. “My music and the melodies and emotional nostalgia of Christmas go hand in hand,” says Brickman of his frequent work in the genre. He calls it “an opportunity for me to play stylistically what I do as a composer.”

It’s also a form of spiritual expression and, perhaps, gratitude. “I don’t ever think, ‘I’m going to go to work today and I’m going to write a song.’ It just kind of comes out. I feel like that’s a gift and I don’t attribute it to any one deity, but I attribute it to spirituality.”

IF YOU GO

Jim Brickman

Presented by Bay Area Cabaret

Where: Venetian Room, Fairmont Hotel, 950 Mason St., S.F.

When: 5 and 8 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $43 to $48

Contact: (415) 392-4400, www.bayareacabaret.orgartsBay Area CabaretDavid BurnhamJim BrickmanPop Music & Jazz

Just Posted

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

Newly appointed City Attorney David Chiu will play a key role in an upcoming legal battle between gig economy companies and The City. (Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)
City Attorney David Chiu faces immediate test in major gig economy lawsuit

DoorDash and Grubhub are suing San Francisco over price controls

FILE — In-N-Out Burger, the popular California fast-food chain, is resisting San Francisco's public health rules that require indoor diners to show proof of vaccination. (J. Emilio Flores/The New York Times)
When it comes to San Francisco vaccine rules, In-N-Out should heed Biblical advice

Burger chain’s vaccine fight distracts from its tasty burgers and French fries controversy

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Walgreens says it’s closing five SF stores due to crime. Where’s the data?

Walgreens should be transparent, enlighten city leaders about crime’s effect on business

Lake Hennessey, a reservoir for Napa, looked dry in June. Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday issued a proclamation extending the drought emergency statewide and asked residents to redouble water conservation efforts. <ins>(Mike Kai Chen/New York Times)</ins>
Newsom declares drought emergency across California

State closed out its second-driest water year on record

Most Read