A tribute to the maestro of melancholy: Paul Emery takes his Leonard Cohen homage to Sac’s Crest Theatre | TheUnion.com

A tribute to the maestro of melancholy: Paul Emery takes his Leonard Cohen homage to Sac’s Crest Theatre

The performers from last year's Leonard Cohen tribute, A Thousand Kisses Deep, commemorate their evening at Sacramento's famed Crest Theatre.
Photo by Marion Charlotte

WHAT: Paul Emery and Swell Productions presents 1000 Kisses Deep: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

WHERE: Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street, Sacramento

WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Reserved Seating: $25 and $35. The Crest Theatre box office at 1013 K Street, Sacramento or http://www.crestsacramento.com/event/1815651-thousand-kisses-deep-songs-sacramento/

INFO: paulemerymusic.com or 1000kissesdeep.com

Paul Emery and Swell Productions presents A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, a reprise of Emery’s triumphant tribute to one of the most fascinating and enigmatic singer/songwriters at the Crest Theatre in downtown Sacramento on Saturday evening.

The lineup includes stellar Northern California musicians Anni McCann, Kimberly Bass, Eleanore MacDonald, Shay Dillon, Paul Emery, Pat Jacobsen, Peter Wilson, Stephen Holland, Perry Mills, Mark McCartney, Murray Campbell, Brady Mills and Arthur Gould.

A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Songs of Leonard Cohen is the successful creative production of foothills promoter/musician Paul Emery. In 2011, the group assembled for three sold-out evenings at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley and went on to perform at the Nevada Theatre and the 24th Street Theatre in Sacramento. They have since performed the show a total of eighteen times. The eight-piece band and six singers bring the instrumentation of Cohen’s most recent touring band with woodwinds, strings, guitars and keyboards and back-up singers.

Featured will be San Francisco light show pioneer George Holden. In the 1960s and ‘70s, he created light shows at the Fillmore and Maritime Hall. Vintage images and footage of Cohen will be part of the mix.

Four decades after he emerged as a public literary figure and then a performer, Leonard Cohen remains one of the most compelling and fascinating musical figures of his era, and one of the few from that time who still commands as much respect and attention in the 21st century as he did in the 1960s.

“For some people Cohen’s music is just beginning to resonate,” Emery said. “His melodies are timeless. His poetry is deep and profound, and constantly offers new insights and reactions years after their first hearing.

“The lyrical depth and beauty of Leonard Cohen’s music is an endless well of inspiration to those who love his music. The songs never grow old and each performance reveals a new layer of inspiration to the audience and players alike.”

Singer Kimberly Bass added, “His music has a richness that stirs the soul. For me, it’s the way he looks at the world and our humanness, our nakedness in this harsh yet beautiful world.”

The idea to organize the tribute show came to Emery after traveling with local musician Anni McCann to see Cohen on his 2010 World Tour.

“Paul and I had both just seen his live show, where you could say he quite literally levitated his audience,” said McCann, who sings iconic Cohen songs such as “Dance Me to the End of Love” and “Joan of Arc” with Emery during the show.

“When Paul asked about doing a show to celebrate Cohen’s music, at first I thought, ‘What the heck are you thinking Paul? Leonard is still touring!’ Then I began combing through his extensive list of recordings, all the while discovering the vast richness of his repertoire. I was definitely in!”

Emery spent months listening to all of Cohen’s music. He set out to capture the instrumentation and arrangements of the music and band on that tour, specifically Cohen’s use of a variety of singers to carry the vocals. Emery reached out to the many local musicians he had worked with over the last 40 years on various productions to see if they were game.

Bassist Pat Jacobsen became the show’s music director and took leadership of charting all of the arrangements and leading the band in rehearsals and on stage through over 17 of Cohen’s songs, including “Suzanne,” “I’m Your Man” and “Hallelujah,” among others.

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