"Christmas Again" with Jonathan Moffett
On behalf of Jonathan Moffett and Paula Katsikas, who has been working closely with Jonathan over the last few weeks, The Jam Café and Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait are happy to announce and promote “Christmas Again”, an album which Jonathan has dedicated to his friend Michael Jackson. Available on his website Jonathan follows in the footsteps of Michael by donating part of the proceeds to Make A Wish Foundation. Truly, this album is “All For Love” and a celebration of Michael’s life and message, as well as bringing home the real meaning of Christmas.
From Paula Katsikas:
Jonathan “Sugarfoot” Moffett accomplished musician, songwriter and producer, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. The third son of a musical family of siblings, Jonathan began playing on a marching snare drum at the tender age of six and after arriving in Los Angeles in January 1979, he had his first contact with Michael and the Jackson brothers. Just six weeks later in the spring of 1979, Jonathan embarked upon his first major tour with the Jackson family, known as the ‘Destiny’ tour. What followed was a long relationship with three more tours with the Jacksons, one referred to as the ‘Off The Wall’ tour in the fall of 1979 and another, the ‘Triumph’ tour in 1981. The ‘Triumph’ tour resulted in ‘The Jackson’s Live’ album, a live album by the brothers recorded during this tour that went on to sell over two million copies worldwide, and in which Jonathan was involved in. In that same year of 1981 he was also hired to record and play on Michael’s production and song writing of Diana Ross’s hit ‘Muscles’ and in 1983 he was a part of the infamous Pepsi commercial.
The Jackson relationship continued, with the last of the Jackson tours, for the massive 1984 ’ ‘Victory’ Tour, which occupied the greater part of that year, and then again in 1986 when he toured with Jermaine and was showcased as Jermaine’s musical director.
Michael called upon Jonathan’s services once again in 1988 to play behind the scenes on the Grammy’s show in New York
Then in the fall of 1996 he began what would have to be the biggest tour yet with Michael in the ‘History’ World Tour, and ‘History’ was certainly made during the next 16 months.
On the 2001 ‘Michael Jackson Anniversary Special’, taped the day before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Jonathan was again there helping with the production. He remembers how when the planes hit the Twin Towers, it changed the whole world.
His impressive list of credits doesn’t stop there. He has also toured with other big names in the music industry, working alongside Madonna, Elton John, George Michael, Janet Jackson, Cameo, Stevie Wonder, Kenny G and ‘Kool and The Gang’, to name a few. His portfolio also includes several Television appearances, Studio recordings and Video credits throughout the years, even writing, arranging, producing and singing background on a song for the Eddie Murphy/Arsenio Hall hit movie, ‘Coming to America’.
Yet his destiny always seemed to lead him back to Michael when once more they joined forces in 2009 for ‘This Is It’ and again finding themselves together on stage in rehearsals. Though the concerts were not meant to be, Michael was always meant to be close to Jonathan, for even after life here on Earth, Michael again has led Jonathan to where he is now in 2012, as an integral part in the spectacular production of Cirque du Soleil’s, ‘The Immortal’ show, working with other musicians in bringing Michael’s music to life and helping in keeping his legacy alive. To this notion Jonathan says, ”We, He and I, were bonded for more than half our lives together, through music, creativity, love and friendship, and in Brotherhood.” Jonathan’s connection with Michael may have started in 1979 but it certainly did not end in 2009. Thirty Three years later the bond with Michael is still strong, both professionally and personally, as is Jonathan’s love for him. He expresses this in the release of his sincere and touching tribute ‘Flame’ in Michael’s memory. “‘Flame’ is a song that I held onto for some years now, knowing of its very special message and sentiments for the right situation it would relate to someday. I finally released and let go of ‘Flame’ for the love of MJ, after his tragic passing and graduation to heaven”, Jonathan explains.
Touring and working with Michael has been a major part of Jonathan’s life but this year he is going to share something else very close to his and Michael’s heart, in fact what Jonathan calls ‘The Project Of His Heart’, and that is the celebration of Christmas and the season of giving love that it is worldwide, through his Christmas CD titled, ‘CHRISTMAS AGAIN’. The CD is dedicated this Christmas to Michael with part of the proceeds going to the ‘Make A Wish’ foundation, a foundation that brings magic and joy to children with life-threatening illnesses. He shares his sentiment of how he hopes to brighten the lives of children who can’t normally afford it or are ill, with a surprise at Christmas. Quoting Jonathan, “I’m doing my part without hesitation by donating part of the proceeds from the songs purchased to the cause of the children. In the spirit of Michael’s love, through giving, and his principal for humanity, as in the ending lyric of one of my Christmas songs, lets ‘Spread the Love!’ “
Jonathan brings us his personal and artistic musical expressions in writing, producing and singing as well as the message of Christmas in his Christmas songs. He adds how all of the songs were composed and mixed in the light of the character of the old Christmas classics, that both he and Michael adored, yet with a modern day pulse and recording quality.
When asked why a Christmas CD? Jonathan replied:
“It’s been a twenty plus year journey with this project which began with me simply wandering,’I wonder if I can write a classic Christmas song?,’ and progressing from there. As a Christmas dedication this season, through my own love for it, and in Michael’s honor and love for Christmas, and in the spirit of love he projected each and every single day I’d known him the past 30 years of both our lives, I bring out the end result, my ‘Christmas Again’ album. It was his and my most favorable holiday, which we both expressed openly and hence the song from my album, which happens to be the last one I wrote and produced in the early 2000’s, ‘Christmas Is My Time Of Year’.”
With lyrics like “Every day is one step closer, to my favorite time of year. There’s a place in my heart that knows that Christmas is my time of year”, Jonathan’s message of his love for the season is clearly evident. As a gesture of thank you and in appreciation from Jonathan to those that are helping the less fortunate and sick children receive gifts this season and every holiday season to come, he is also giving away a free copy of his ‘Flame’ tribute with every purchase of his Christmas songs.. He says, “This is one way to keep breathing life into Michael and Michael’s dream – to help the children and not forget about them. After all it was, and still is ‘All For Love!’
Jonathan relays one of his memories and conversations with Michael about Christmas:
“I had always of course been aware of Michael’s love for Christmas as he would ask me smiling like a small kid, '.....Foot...you love Christmas time don’t you?’ and of course I could tell he knew that I loved Christmas too, as when I’d say, ‘...Yes, I love Christmas all my life, it’s my favorite time of year’. He’d then say, ‘I know, I could tell!’ in a boyish innocent childlike way, while giggling and laughing. Both of us were excited to be talking about it. He said that he loved all the toys, games, presents and that the ‘giving part’ was what he enjoyed the most. Strangely I felt the same way throughout my life-time of Christmas history. Each time we would be together on a tour it would come up, again and again, as if we had never said it before.”
Jonathan’s album contains 15 beautifully put together Christmas tracks, 9 of which are his original songs, with an additional 5 of them in ‘Instrumental Chorus Versions’ as well, showcasing Jonathan’s talents that far exceed those of an amazing drummer. From the enchanting melodies on the instrumentals like ‘Happy Holiday’ to the joyous and playful lyrics of ‘Christmas Is My Time Of Year’ and ‘Christmas Is Coming’, his unique rendition of the classic ‘Little Drummer Boy’ and the catchy swing like tune of ‘No One Should Be Alone For Christmas’, which was the first song he wrote back in 1988, to the song that says it all and the title track of the album ‘Christmas Again’, it is sure to impress and put a smile on everyone’s face. Even catering to the Country and Western fans with ‘Kids Dream Of Christmas Day’, the album has a versatile mix of genres of music and styles with songs that both children and grownups alike can relate to. In Jonathan’s own words, “It has something for everyone!”
Here is a personal message from Jonathan about his Christmas songs:
“......There are 10 songs, . . 9 of which are my original works. The 10th song is a remake of one of the most popular, famous and most appropriate songs for me to choose to do!
"The Little Drummer Boy" is the perfect Christmas holiday classic cover song, best suited for ‘Sugarfoot’ to put his personal touch and taste on!!! With a vocal falsetto twist on it, I hope it lends a fresh new feel and flavor on my presentation, and lifts the spirits on high, breathing new life into this most beautiful treasured holiday classic! Included also are 5 ‘Retro Old School Instrumental Chorus’ tracks, of 5 of my original songs!..... Music 'To Put Up the Tree To', . . . to 'Turn On The Lights To', . . and get you 'In The Mood for This Holiday's Delight', and show that "Christmas Is Coming"!!! ...... ‘For Wrapping Those Presents and Gifts’, that'll bring big smiles on the faces of the ones you love! so, I hope to bring the spirit of Christmas into your home this year with the songs very close to my heart! .....For after all, . . "Christmas 'Is' Coming", . . as you'll begin to see "The Signs Of Christmas" soon, everywhere, when it'll come time to begin wishing "Merry Christmas To Your Neighbour", . . . because "No One Should Be Alone At Christmas", and especially when it's time for a "Happy Holiday" to all who come your way! So do just as I do, because "Christmas Is MY Time Of Year", bringing happiness to 'This' little boy's heart, and just like "Kids Dream Of Christmas Day", . . I do too!!!" ...For 'This' little drummer boy knows that pretty soon, it'll be . . . . "Christmas Again"...... : ) .......Merry Christmas, . . . to One And ALL!!!........_”
‘CHRISTMAS AGAIN’ is a heartwarming album that brings out the Christmas spirit and is sure to delight everyone that loves Christmas. A Christmas Gift, dedicated to Michael straight from Jonathan’s heart!
Let’s all light a ‘FLAME’ a burning candle to remember Michael with this Christmas! – (Jonathan Phillip Moffett)
So I surrender
All we can do is light a Flame
We all should light a flame
A burning flame, a burning fire to remember
TO VIEW THE TRACK LIST AND PURCHASE THE SONGS AND ALBUM CLICK HERE:
For more information on the Make A Wish Foundation click here:
Please visit Jonathan's website and help support this album which, in the true spirit of Michael Jackson, endeavors so beautifully to continue his legacy of love and humanitarianism.
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