Since Jeff Healey’s untimely passing on March 2nd, 2008, perhaps initially as a way to help cope with the loss, we decided that his birthday would be a time to celebrate, to smile, share a laugh and remember.
The first birthday, I believe it was just myself and our friend, Rob Quail (although I think we were later joined by a third…). Wounds were still too fresh, the sadness still too heavy for anything greater to be organized. It was the beginning of an annual tradition. Since then every March 25th, between 15 and 25 close friends and family gather, sharing a story or two, sharing a memory… Always joyful, always bittersweet.
2016, as many of you know, marks a noteworthy anniversary. Jeff would have been turning 50 this year and we decided we needed to do something *extra* special to help celebrate.
As you’ve heard here and on the Facebook page, we spent over a year pulling a team together, researching, excavating (both literally & figuratively), transferring, mixing and mastering an incredible 50th birthday gift to share with the fans. The critically acclaimed ‘lost’ Jeff Healey record, ‘Heal My Soul‘ hits the shops online and in the real world today across the four corners of the earth!
We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the amazing reaction people have been having worldwide to the album… There will be a slew of new reviews popping up in the next week or so, but already so much love has been shown to this project… Check out this wonderful quote, just published yesterday, then cast your gaze upon the brilliant promotional one-sheet below…
“Rarely has a posthumous album reached such a level of perfection, reviving the pain caused by the loss of a genius whose generosity was boundless.” – Music Waves, France
And as of yesterday, this was what things looked like on Amazon.ca for Heal My Soul…
But no, today’s birthday celebrations don’t end with the new album! Once again, we’d like to remind you that at 7pm, tonight, JazzFM presents Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards performing Live to Air in the Long and McQuade Performance Hall! You can join the celebration at 91.1 on your FM dial in Toronto or online at jazz.fm!
(…and tune in to JazzFM *every* Wednesday night at 9pm EST to hear Jeff’s ‘My Kinda Jazz‘ show. They’ll be rebroadcasting it throughout 2016 to help celebrate his life and legacy in what would have been Jeff’s 50th Birthday year.)
Likewise please check last week’s post HERE for all the details on a special free Toronto screening of the documentary film ‘Healey’s Hideaway‘!)
Also, coming up on Monday, March 28th at 8:40am EST yours truly and the lovely Cristie Healey will be appearing on Canada AM, live and nation-wide on the CTV Network! We’ll be discussing Jeff’s life, musical legacy and Heal My Soul and we will have a very BIG announcement to share with you all on the air!
This is just the beginning though folks, we will be celebrating Jeff’s birthday with you all year long! Rest assured we have a number of great things planned and we don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
Finally my friends, we’ve said this in the past, but it always bears repeating… This site you are visiting now, the ongoing projects, our official Jeff Healey Facebook Page (now over 149,000 strong!), JazzFM, Heal My Soul, et al… these things are all a true labour of love for us, but frankly NONE of it would be possible without your ongoing support and love for Jeff and his music. Thank you for keeping his memory alive and thank you for spreading the word and helping to share that love far and wide. We miss him every single day, but today… today is the day to hoist your favourite beverage, crank your favourite Healey tunes, smile… and remember.
We’ll have more exciting news for you real soon!
Much peace and love all.
Happy Birthday Dr. Healey. Wish you were here to enjoy all the fuss…