Natalie Cole & George Benson to Headline bergenPAC's 9th Annual Spring Gala, 4/25
Bergen Performing Arts Center is proud to celebrate the 9th Annual Gala with musical icons George Benson and Natalie Cole funds raised from this performance will go towards the all-new Performing Arts School at bergenPAC which now is located at 1 Depot Square in Englewood, New Jersey. The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC features a series of classes, school residencies, workshops, live performances, student productions and ensemble groups in the performing arts for all children, from 2 months to 21 years old. bergenPAC's Arts Education and Community Outreach programs have reached more than 50,000 students annually since its inception. The renovations are critical to the growth of the school, as it continues to expand programming and offer state of the art facilities to those enrolled. The Performing Arts School aims to create a learning environment that enriches all levels of talent while cultivating the excitement and creativity inherent in the arts for all participating.
There are legends in the world of music... and then there are icons. Nat King Cole broke barriers and literally changed the face of music. Two decades later George Benson did the same by redefining the world of jazz by garnering the first platinum jazz album in 1976. In the universe of masters and mentors, the torch has never been passed as impeccably as from Cole to Benson. With Cole's spellbinding voice and his unforgettable catalog of classic songs in the `50s and `60s, he paved the way for the level of tremendous international crossover success that dynamic ten-time GRAMMY winner Benson earned in the `70s to the present - from jazz to pop, and from instrumental innovator to vocal sensation. The keys were ambition, accessibility, all-around quality and strict attention to the wants and desires of their audience. In honor of this, George Benson delivers an album he has literally been preparing for all his life: Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole and will share this music live at bergenPAC in Englewood, New Jersey.
Natalie Cole is the daughter of celebrated crooner Nat King Cole, she was exposed to the greats of jazz, soul and blues at an early age. Her debut album in 1975, Inseparable, won her immediate praise, with the smash single This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) (#1 R&B, #6 Pop) winning her a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female, a category that had been monopolized by Aretha Franklin, since its inception in 1967. She also was named the Grammys' Best New Artist of 1975 and since then has won a total of 9 Grammys and nominated this year for 3 Latin Grammys for her latatest album "Natalie Cole En Español."
Multiple Grammy-winning recording artist was just 8 years old when her father, legendary crooner Nat King Cole, recorded his first album in Spanish, scoring an unexpected international smash in 1958. Her father's foreign-language success was a culturally captivating experience for little Natalie, who got to travel outside the country for the first time with her famous father. She vividly recalls a trip to Mexico during which she saw her first piñata, posed for pictures "as a señorita" in folkloric dress, and most memorably, witnessed first-hand the adulation and esteem that Latin American fans showed for the King, a pioneering African-American superstar.
Now, 55 years later, the accomplished R&B and jazz vocalist breaks new ground of her own with her first Spanish-language album, "Natalie Cole En Español," recently released is her first studio album in five years, Natalie revisits the rich repertoire of ageless Latin standards that once opened new vistas for her father. The 12 lushly orchestrated tracks, produced by Rudy Perez, Billboard's Latin Music Producer Of The Decade, features Natalie's distinctive take on some classics from her father's catalog, plus several other carefully chosen selections from the Latin American Songbook.-See Natalie Cole at bergenPAC on April 25th performing her big hits as well as new songs from her latest album and on stage with the great George Benson.