“Coupled with the richness of Leonard Cohen’s writing, your arrangements, and the seasoned musicianship each of you bring, the show left me deeply touched… …one of the most rewarding evenings of entertainment I can remember, not just here, but anywhere.” – Jordan Fisher Smith
“We went to the Leonard Cohen A Thousand Kisses Deep show last night at the Crest. It was fabulous!!! I’ve been a Cohen fan for years and his music was beautifully interpreted by the wonderful group of artists. One of the best shows I’ve been to in years. Thanks to Paul Emery and his incredibly talented groups of musicians. A truly great night.” – Pamela Vann
“All I have to say is a lot! Went to see Paul Emery’s “A Thousand Kisses Deep” last night. The show was beyond wonderful! …They warm cold nights, and hearts of all sort. I loved it. The memory will be with me for a long while. The best thing I can say about “A Thousand Kisses Deep” is, the next time they’re around – I will be too.” – Bill Gainer – Gainer’s Poetry Emporium
Paul Emery presents A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, a reprise of his triumphant tribute to one of the most fascinating and enigmatic singer/songwriters of the late 60s, according to a press release.
Objects in the Mirror: Pat Jacobsen, Mark McCartney, Perry Mills & Brady Mills
Paul Emery, Anni McCann, Kimberly Bass, Eleanore MacDonald, Shay Dillon, Peter Wilson, Stephen Holland, Tom Schmidt, Arthur Gould and Murray Campbell.
A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Songs of Leonard Cohen is the successful creative production of KVMR News Director and 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 24th Street Theatre in Sacramento. They have since performed the show a total of 12 times, selling out nine of those shows. 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.
Four decades after he emerged as a public literary figure and then a performer, Cohen remains one of the most compelling and fascinating musical figures of his era, and one of the very few from that time who still commands as much respect and attention, and probably as large an audience, in the 21st century as he did in the 1960s, according to a press release.
“For many 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.”
Singer Kimberly Bass adds, “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.
A pioneer artist in the field of liquid light shows since 1966, George Holden continue to create. He has created moving light experiences at the Fillmore West, Berkeley Community Theater, Marin Civic Center, The Crest Theatre, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Crocker Art Museum, The Great American Music Hall and many more for groups including the Grateful Dead, Joe Cocker, Sly Stone, Paul Butterfield, Etta James, Carlos Santana, Donovan, Joan Baez, Loving Spoonful, John Lee Hooker, Country Joe McDonald, and Elvin Bishop among others.
As writer Jonathan Freedland wrote in his illuminating 2015 article in The Atlantic, “Leonard Cohen, Judaism’s Bard,” – “One of his most enduring lyrics comes in “Anthem.” It is a verse to alleviate the gloom, urging human beings to see the beauty in their own flaws, to believe that even sadness can lead to joy.
“Forget your perfect offering,” he sings, “There is a crack in everything. It’s how the light gets in.”
It’s a humane, tender idea, but few might realize that it’s drawn from the deepest well of kabbalah. According to the 16th century rabbi and mystic, Isaac Luria, God created vessels into which he poured his holy light. These vessels weren’t strong enough to contain such a powerful force and they shattered: the sparks of divine light were carried down to earth along with the broken shards. Put another way: “There is a crack in everything, it’s how the light gets in.