STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT: THE NAT KING COLE TRIBUTE to Play the McCoy

STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT: THE NAT KING COLE TRIBUTE to Play the McCoyNat King Cole broke the pop barrier in 1943 when his "Straighten Up and Fly Right" soared up the charts. His smooth, smoky vocals continued to rack up pop hit after hit, but his piano technique, vocal phrasings, and on-the-mark orchestration always hinted to his early roots in jazz. Pianist Ramsey Lewis and guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli have tailored a tribute to the titan of '50s vocal pop that includes Cole's hits and as well as his singular tracks of sophisticated cool jazz that have influenced their own.

CAPA presents Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute featuring Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., New Albany) on Sunday, March 19, at 7 pm. Tickets are $36-$61 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.

About Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for more than 50 years with an unforgettable sound and outgoing personality that has allowed him to cross over to the pop and R&B charts. The Ramsey Lewis Trio became a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, and Lewis earned his first Gold record, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance, for their swinging version of Dobie Gray's hit "The In Crowd." He returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of "Hang On Sloopy" and "Wade in the Water."

Throughout his illustrious career, Lewis, who is a NEA Jazz Master, has joined forces with countless other artists to create new and innovative music. He collaborated with Nancy Wilson on "The Two of Us" (1984); with London's Philharmonic Orchestra for the album A Classic Encounter (1988); and with Dr. Billy Taylor for a set of piano duets in We Meet Again (1989). In 1995, Lewis launched the side project Urban Knights, in which he collaborated with a handful of successful crossover jazz stars, including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh, and Dave Koz.

In 1997, Lewis added disc jockey to his resume, hosting a popular show on Chicago's WNUA-FM that ran until 2009. A new show was syndicated in 2006 under the name "Legends of Jazz

with Ramsey Lewis" and was broadcast on jazz radio stations across the country. In 2006, a well-received, 13-episode "Legends of Jazz" television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast by PBS on public TV nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists.

About John Pizzarelli

John Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, bringing to his work the cool jazz ­flavor of his brilliant guitar playing and singing. For Pizzarelli though, his hero and foundation was Nat "King". In fact, Pizzarelli devoted Dear Mr. Cole and P.S. Mr. Cole to music made famous by the beloved song stylist. Pizzarelli's catalog of albums also includes a touching cycle of torch ballads (After Hours), a collection of classic swing and bold originals (Our Love is Here to Stay), and a charming holiday disc (Let's Share Christmas).

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