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Martin Nievera kicks off 40th anniversary bash at Disney

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star
Martin Nievera kicks off 40th anniversary bash at Disney
Martin has been in the music business for the past four decades and he will be launching his year-long celebration of this milestone at the Disney. He will be making history as the second Filipino artist to perform in the venue in a full-length concert. The first was Lea Salonga, a Filipino and a true Disney princess.

Looks like Los Angeles is getting a surfeit of concerts featuring great Filipino music this month. Last Saturday, Aug. 30, the songs of Jose Mari Chan were the stars of Celebration, which was held at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA. The show had the Filipino American Symphony Orchestra performing the compositions of JMC, which you will surely agree made for a hit-filled, nostalgic and romantic evening.

Now brace yourselves, Angelenos, because there will be more of those only a week later. What I mean are hit songs by another Filipino artist. This is because M4D will be the headliner at the same Walt Disney Theater on Aug. 20. M4D stands for Martin Nievera Four Decades. Does that mean 40 years? It does. It seems unbelievable, but it is the truth.

Martin has been in the music business for 40 years and he will be launching his year-long celebration of this milestone at the Disney. He will be making history as the second Filipino artist to perform in the venue in a full-length concert. The first was Lea Salonga, a Filipino and a true Disney princess.

I guess it is only right for Martin to kick off his anniversary bash in California, in the U.S. of A. Don’t worry, Martin fans here in the Philippines, he will also be doing a big concert at the Araneta Coliseum later this year. You see, as a teenager, he would at times join his father, the heartthrob balladeer Bert Nievera during performances. This was with the Society of Seven group that was then booked at The Outrigger in Hawaii. However, it was in mainland America where Martin would reach the decision to make singing his career.

It was after graduating from Clayton High School when Martin joined the 1981 California State Talent Competition. Martin was up against 4,000 contestants from all over the U.S., but he breezed through the four days of the talent search and eventually won the contest. His winning piece was Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All, which his father taught him how to sing. A few months later, the determined Martin packed his bags and hopped on a plane to Manila in pursuit of his dream.

Bright eyed and eager, Martin landed at the office of Vicor Music Corporations. Getting into the music business was a no-brainer for the kid. He had the Nievera name. His father was a big star in the Philippines. Aside from that, Asia’s Queen of Songs Pilita Corrales, a top concert draw and big-selling recording artist is his mother’s cousin. In fact, Pilita had already set up the Vicor meeting even before he arrived. But best of all, Martin had no need to ride on his name or on the connections of his relatives, the boy could really sing. And sing he did, for the next 40 years.

I am sure that like most Pinoys, you do not like medleys. We always say when artists sing medleys, why chop my favorite song into pieces, I want to hear the whole thing. I do not know how Martin will do it during M4D but I guess he will have no choice but to do several medleys in his show in order to be able to perform all his hit songs at the Disney. This is because, the years that came after his arrival in 1982 are filled with so many hit songs.

Brace yourselves again Martin fans of Los Angeles, M4D will be 40 years of memorable songs. Take a look at what Martin might have cooked up for you. Be My Lady, Holiday, Pain, Each Day with You, Forever, Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin, On the Right Track, Please Don’t Throw my Love Away, You are to Me, You are my Song, Christmas Won’t be the Same without You, Say That You Love Me, Ikaw, Kahit Isang Saglit, Forever, Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin and many more.

Take note, the evening will not be just about the songs. Martin is not known as the Concert King for nothing. Prepare yourselves for his wit, the audience repartee, the jokes. Corny at times. But then that is part of his charm.

MARTIN NIEVERA

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