Date: 04/22/2010 Print This Post



 The Long Awaited Follow Up To Chagall’s
2004 Indie Release ‘Soundlight’ was Co-Produced By
Mikal Blue (Colbie Caillat, OneRepublic)

In a high stress era where heartfelt creativity seems to be ebbing and disposable pop continues to reign, Keith Chagall extends a joyous and infectious musical Invitation reminding us that that music can still ease our minds, love can still break through our cynicism, and there are just enough reasons to remain hopeful for a brighter day.

The Colombian born, American raised singer-songwriter’s infectious and exotic blend of Latin tropical rhythms, classic pop and Spanish guitar driven vocals and instrumentals bridges cultures and strips down barriers, making him a perfect representative of what CNN has referred as the “next great social wave of Latinos in America.”

The long awaited follow-up to Chagall’s popular and critically acclaimed 2005 indie release Soundlight, the 10-track set breaks free from the our iTunes-inspired, singles oriented world, evolving as a fully realized “love play” inspired by a wonderful romantic renaissance in Chagall’s own life. Even before its official release, Invitation—whose richly textured songs blend a modern day Antonio Carlos Jobim sensibility with accessible  “McCartneyesque” melodies—was featured in the Robb Report’s 21st Annual Best of the Best issue 2009. Many of the tracks on the album lend themselves brilliantly for licensing to TV, film and commercial opportunities.

Co-produced by Mikal Blue, who produced Colbie Caillat’s two hit multi-platinum albums and has also helmed projects for Five For Fighting, Augustana and OneRepublic, Invitation spotlights a unique songwriting collaboration between Chagall and Oscar and Tony Award winning composer Al Kasha and features dynamic performances by a wide range of top session and touring musicians: bassist Abe Laboriel (Michael Jackson, George Benson, Miles Davis), drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr. (Paul McCartney), trumpeter Lee Thornburg (Tower of Power, Rob Thomas) and percussionist Rafael Padilla (Enrique Iglesias, Celine Dion). The collection was engineered by GRAMMY Award winner Chris Brooke and features arrangements by Andrew Williams (nephew of Andy Williams), who also plays slide guitar on the Beach Boys-flavored “Summer of My Life.”

On a more personal level, it marks the culmination of an incredible comeback for Chagall after a double spinal fusion surgery to repair neck and vertebrae damage resulting from a 2001 crash with a drunk driver. In addition to chronic pain and insomnia, the placement of a titanium plate behind his Adam’s Apple made him fearful of singing for a long time. After years of physical therapy, he is now stronger than ever and is currently in rehearsals with a new 12-piece band, ready to hit the road and start performing again later in 2010. 

The inclusion of the album’s cheerfully breezy vocal tune “Summer of R Lives” in Paramount’s “Plumm Summer” starring Alec Baldwin and Henry Winkler follows in a long line of TV and film song placements that Chagall has scored over the years; these include everything from the Bruce Willis film “Blind Date” and the Mick Fleetwood starring Showtime show “Mr. Music” to others on HBO. The singer’s recording career extends back to the mid-90s and includes Angels on the Faultline (1995), Watching The Seasons (1999) and Soundlight, whose two hit radio singles “Soundlight” and “To Be Here” made history on the FMQB AC40 chart. In the publication’s 35 years of existence, these marked the only times that an unsigned indie artist broke into and remained in the Top 5 for ten weeks in a row–among superstar artists like Hoobastank, Los Lonely Boys and Maroon 5.

In addition to nationwide airplay, Chagall’s heartfelt songs, versatile musicianship and onstage charisma have earned vast critical acclaim, national and international television appearances and a growing live audience. In addition to playing the lucrative corporate circuit, mixing originals and familiar pop songs for events put on by The Beverly Hills Hotel, The Four Seasons, The  Peninsula, Montage and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s successful re-election campaign. The singer has performed everywhere from South Beach, Florida and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art to L.A. hotspots like the House of Blues, Café Del Rey, Santa Monica College and The Viper Room. Chagall has also appeared on CNN International, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, Univision’s “Good Morning LA”, WOAI-TV’s “San Antonio AM,” and Hollywood Hoy TV, syndicated in thirty-five Latin American countries.

Awarding him 8/10 stars for one of his dynamic L.A. live performances, Music Connection Magazine said: “Keith proved he is a strong songwriter and it is apparent he can come up with the goods when it comes to performing live before concert audience. Most of the music is structured around the use of Spanish and acoustic guitars laid over intricate Latin percussion rhythms.”

“A captain in the Air Force who had just returned from duty in Afghanistan came up to me after a recent show and told me how my music had touched him and his wife,” says Chagall. “Besides being flattered and realizing that making music is all about making these deep personal connections, I thought about my own struggles and realized that if he can fight for me and come back, then I could come back too. In this country, even when you’re down, you do your best and you can succeed. When people listen to Invitation, no matter what age they are or where they are from, I want them to feel relaxed but also romantic, enjoying melodies that are more than simply flavor of the second but can hopefully inspire a feeling of timelessness.”