A couple of weeks ago, Joe Zambon stopped over in Vancouver for his ‘Brothers’ album Canadian tour. Funny enough, his actual brother, Nick came along with him.
If you are wondering who is Joe Zambon, no worries. I actually didn’t know about him until last year when I came across his tour through Facebook.The description said “Joe Zambon was not born a musician. As an infant, he had a rare condition in which fingers on each hand were webbed together. When doctors asked Joe—then three-years old—why he wanted them separated, he responded, “to play piano”. Two surgeries later, he took up piano and never stopped.”Now, Joe not only plays piano, but is an incredibly talented guitar player, and singer-songwriter.”
Obviously, I wanted to check him out. I reached out to him via Facebook and asked if his webbed fingers were caused by Amniotic band syndrome and he replied that he didn’t think so. He doesn’t even know what the condition was but now his fingers are regular and he plays piano and guitar and stuff. Unfortunately, a few weeks before the tour, Joe had to cancel for medical reasons. More details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/692939257409140/ That was last year.
This year, Joe Z decided to go on tour again and I am glad everything worked out great. I went to see him on Saturday July 10th at St Paul’s Richmond. Joseph San Jose also performed. They were both so awesome! I didn’t even know Joe had original songs. Yay! I really had a great time and I wished it could go on forever so I bought a CD to support the amazing Joe Z and to enjoy his music. Before the concert, The only song I knew by Joe Z was ‘Jesus I love you’ . I wouldn’t say he is strictly gospel artist though. His style is folk music-like.
At the end of the show, Joseph San Jose offered me a ride home, thanks to his wife, Marion and since he was one of the organizers, we were the last to leave. Great because I had a chance to speak to Joe Z and his brother. Surprisingly Joe Z remembered me from Facebook. He also autographed my CD 🙂 Can I just mention that he is very friendly and a great person to talk to.
By the way in the Canadian Catholic crowd, Joe San Jose and Marion San Jose are legends. They saw the pope a couple of days after thier wedding in May and gave him a ‘ Vancouver Canucks’ jersey with the number 15 representing 2015. They trended on Facebook and they were even on the news as in regular news http://globalnews.ca/news/2034811/b-c-newlyweds-meet-pope-francis-gift-him-canucks-jersey/ That’s enough famzing so I will stop.Lol
The following Tuesday was Joe Z’s last performance in Vancouver before he started his journey back home. It was at St Francis Parish in Vancouver and organized by super woman Sheena D. I actually arrived very early so I got a selfie with Joe Z, Yay! There was also mass and St Anthony’s novena and I actually touched a St Anthony relic for the first time ever!!! How cool is that?
There was no opening act this time, instead we watched a short movie ‘Set Apart’ by another friend of mine, James Penco. Actually James was one of the people who inspired me to deactivate my Facebook this past lent. When I first met him, he said ‘Oh I know you, you liked my video on Facebook’ lol. I most probably was the only one not his Friend on Facebook that liked the video and he was wondering how I came across his movie and his profile. Now he calls me a stalker. Haha Anyways, Set apart was great! Check it out yourself.
Joe’s concert was great as usual. He usually tells a story before each song to make you understand where he’s coming from/ felt while writing. The songs weren’t just from Brothers album, though. After a song or two, I figured that I could write them down and cherish them forever. PS. Click on the song name to be taken to the song from the song Trouble(mp3+lyrics)!
¤St Benedict’s medal has a line that tells the devil ‘Drink thou thine own poison’! and that inspired Joe to write this song dedicated to the devil- Trouble from his Sleeper rise album
¤The song about Lazarus being bound in his new death lifestyle. Sometimes we ourselves are bound in sin and Jesus commands us to be unbound, just like Lazarus after he encountered Jesus. He also got inspiration from Fulton Sheen who said You either live what you believe or believe what you live / But a life in sin can justify anything – Dead Man Rise
¤ The one about the woman at the well. We all have our own personal wells where we draw our life from even though we don’t get satisfied it could be our accomplishments, relationships etc. One thing that really touched me was when Joe shared about how he sings for a living and last year, he found out that he had a vocal injury(Reason why he canceled the tour last year). He was told that he might never sing again. His personal well was music but he lost it, yet through it all, he was able to say Praise God for giving me the opportunity to sing so well, if I never get to do it again, Praise God!Wow. Can I do that? Jesus intercepts us on our way to our personal wells. He says ‘Let me give you peace’. May I have an encounter with Jesus and may I accept that peace which Jesus offers – I just want peace
¤ To be a Christian can be explained simply- love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your strength and now focus on ALL(As if Love itself isn’t difficult!) After the encounter, the Samaritan woman said ‘Here is my all’ inspiration for this song – Jesus I love you
¤ Love your neighbor as yourself and Love God ; hard to do both – In the gospel of St James, he writes show your love for God who you can’t see in the person you can see; Love Him (God) in your neighbor. The poor reflect to me my identity before God- Remember the Poor
¤ Joe’s album before ‘Brothers’ is called ‘Sleeper Rise’ aka Forgiveness album. Joe always wished he had a different dad because his father was always there but not really ‘there’. He was always envious of the kids at school and their relationships with their own fathers. Once, he mentioned it to his mother and she said ‘How are the fatherless supposed to be fathers?’ Joe’s grandad died when Joe’s dad was young so he grew up without a father and this was why he didn’t know what to do as a father, himself. After reflection, Joe realized you’re always going to let people down and people are always going to let you down, because they are not God. Let God be God and let man be man. Show mercy to yourself and to others. No one is perfect. Think of Forgiveness as a debt, nothing can pay it up so release yourself from it. This inspired the song –Not the Man from Sleeper Rise album
¤Forgiveness is not a one time thing. Joe once met a girl who hadn’t spoken to or seen her dad in two years because they were always fighting and arguing. Hence, she decided to cut off contact. For a while, she said, ‘I have felt no emotion and I thought I am moving on. Tonight, I cried and I know that I’m actually not better. Please pray for me as I will call my dad later tonight’.(Joe hasn’t met her since so he doesn’t know how the conversation went)
Why is it so difficult to forgive? because the devil you know that seems better than the devil you don’t. We form a relationship with the pain that comes from broken relationships, and keep a completely broken relationship as long as we can control it. We think ‘If I open myself up, I could get hurt in a worse way‘ so I keep the devil(the pain) I know and am used to.
Analogy – blocking off a messed up room in a house. Then, as new people visit the home of my life and ask about it , the house owner blocks off the hallway and then blocks off the whole floor. Eventually the house owner stops people from coming over and just goes over to other people’s houses. i.e the person cannot have a normal relationship. Forgiveness is the solution. Yes, we could be hurt again and even worse. But that is the risk of Love.
‘If you never enter the cross; you would never know the glory of the resurrection’
Do you want to be powerful? Learn how to forgive. Look at the cross, learn from Jesus – Get Better
¤ Nothing is impossible for God; prison concert story. Joe performed in a prison and he was pleasantly surprised that there were very talented people. They ended up singing and sharing stories after. Joe heard God say, ‘You weren’t expecting to encounter brothers, right? You had already given up on these men; Do you not think that I can make saints out of these men? Because I can & I will.’
Joe also told St Maria Goretti’s story. She refused to sleep with Alessandro and he stabbed her and she died. Maria G later appeared to Alessandro in prison and said ‘God has forgiven you, I have forgiven you, but will you forgive yourself?’
After he got released, he went to Maria G’s mum and this was what she said ‘Welcome home son’.
Saints are born everywhere. Are you going to allow the Lord to make you into a saint that he wants you to be? The Lord came to die for all, including the greatest sinners.
We keep doing things that I said that I won’t do and this is very frustrating. However, The Lord never gives up on us, so let us not give up on ourselves and never give up on others.
We don’t see miracles because we don’t invite the Lord to do miracles. Remember that nothing is impossible for God. There is no prison cell that the light can’t reach – Nothing Is Impossible
¤ This song was written for a film and the message is Love gives people a home – Love is not loved and what a great tragedy that is. Quote from St Francis. God is love, you know?
If you are loved, this world is bearable.To suffer with people is difficult but to suffer alone is almost impossible. Jean Vanier in his book, Becoming Human writes about when he saw about 60 youth in a rehab room and it was dead silent (eerie silence). He asked why and the person in charge of them told Jean Vanier when you have a baby, it’s built into the child to cry but if you ignore them long enough by not caring; eventually, they lose the ability to cry because they tell themselves, ‘no one cares so don’t cry’. The youth there felt no one will love me, no one loves me, so deal with it. Don’t call out/cry out for help. No one cares. What a sad story!
Some people learn to cry in new ways….the artist with the weird art is crying in a new way. Love transforms people. To be loved just as you are is so beautiful. That’s how Christ loves us. Am I living a comfortable love or a love that hurts? Christ went out of his way, eat with a public sinner, touch the untouchable etc to let them know that they are loved. Loving the sinner so that he might know he’s loved. Are you going to care what people think? Will you let that come between showing love and care to others? Our love needs to be scandalous because we are not like the world.
Be scandalous with your forgiveness and your love. Love transforms people, love can give someone a home in a world that they have been homeless their whole life, inspiration for this song – Love will bring you home.
I really enjoyed all of the songs(I actually felt like time went by too fast!).If I had to pick favs, it would be “Jesus, I love you” and ‘I just want Peace’ from Brothers and ‘Not the Man’ from Sleeper Rise 🙂
That’s all folks!
Love, joy and peace.