Aug 27th 2022
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Jim Beam Welcome Sessions present José González 

The joy of live music returns as Jim Beam reunites another global artist with the venue that gave them their most memorable welcome.  While the world around us may have changed, our welcoming spirit remains. Jim Beam Welcome Sessions explore the importance of connecting through music and hospitality, calling on musicians to recall the times and places they have felt the most at home–then returning them to their chosen stages for an exclusive, one-off performance. Fortunately for us, it’s all been artfully captured on video. So take a break, pull up a chair and put your headphones in or turn your speakers up as we reconnect virtually with our favourite musical artists. 

Those of you who have been following the Jim Beam Welcome Sessions saw Jack Garratt return to Village Underground. His visceral performance of ‘Time’ was a live rendition of his first single in four years. Up next, Irish band, Fontaines D.C., was reunited with The Lexington in London for a one-of-a-kind performance of ‘I Was Not Born’. Now for Jim Beam’s third Welcome Session, we’re proud to introduce Swedish artist José González.   

José has been a working musician for over twenty years, channeling an early love of punk and hardcore into his unique, melodic, indie-folk style. A multi-talented singer, guitarist and songwriter, José’s classical guitar playing and dreamlike voice have endeared himself to fans, peers, and critics worldwide, seeing him nominated for three Grammy Awards over the past two decades.    When asked to recall the venue that made him feel the most at home, José didn’t hesitate to name Germany’s famous Michelberger Hotel. “From the moment you step through the doors of a venue like the Michelberger, the playful architecture and warm and inviting aesthetic immediately inspires and fuels the creative spirit, especially for musicians.” Explains José. “As a live performer, the experience of changing the mood among a group of strangers by taking them to two emotional ends of the spectrum throughout a gig is unlike any other. First, unlocking deep, solemn emotions before uplifting them with the melody, while the lyrics energise and elevate them to a different place. You can literally watch as they physically and mentally change in front of your eyes.”  

Situated in the musical hub of Friedrichshain, the Michelberger was founded by a group of young Berliners who dreamt of creating a uniquely designed live music venue. As a result, the Michelberger is part hotel, part clubhouse, and part bar and restaurant, combining a bohemian aesthetic and energetic vibe with friendly service, making it a popular destination for musicians, tourists, and locals alike.   For José, feeling welcome in a venue is an important part of performing. “As a touring musician, the welcome you feel within a space is so important for so many reasons, both in shaping what you do on stage but also the moments in between... Having spent a great deal of time in the Michelberger, my connection comes from memories wrapped in rich emotions of amazing nights spent in the space.”

Later this year, José will be releasing his first album in six years, the highly anticipated Local Valley. Back in the Michelberger’s famous courtyard, we’re treated to a live, once-in-a-lifetime rendition of his newest single, ‘Valle Local’. To mark the occasion, Michelberger’s head bartender Adam Purnell has created his own twist on a classic Jim Beam Highball. The Michelberger Bourbon Mule is light, refreshing and effervescent, comprising Jim Beam, Ginger Beer, Lime, Angostura Bitters and a cucumber garnish - easily recreated at home. Kick back, relax, and tune in. 

Until we’re able to enjoy our favourite bands in our favourite independent live venues, Jim Beam Welcome Sessions seek to connect us virtually through the power of music, great hospitality, and an unforgettable welcome. Stay tuned for the next musicians in the series, celebrating the stages on which they’ve felt most at home.

Check out his full video HERE!