Tony Bennett Returns to Ravinia Festival Tonight
There's only one! The magnificent Tony Bennett, returns to the Ravinia Festival this evening, August 16, at 8:30 PM. The foremost interpreter of American popular song and one of the Festival's most treasured and highly anticipated artists since his first appearance in 1984, Mr. Bennett headlines his 33rd Ravinia concert with this engagement.
The strikingly beautiful and talented jazz singer Antonia Bennett tours with her father and will open the show with a set of popular standards. Tony will again be accompanied by his outstand Quartet, featuring: Pianist and Musical Director Mike Renzi; Guitarist Gray Sargent; Bassist Marshall Wood; and Drummer Harold Jones.
Ticket Information: PAVILLION seating-$101.00/$91.00; LAWN ADMISSION-$34.00. And Ravinia is also offering a new concept in luxury lawn seating called LAWNCIERGE. It includes upscale lawn admission, an unlimited supply of delicious food, and premium bar service at a cost of $250.00 per person. Tickets are available at the Ravinia Box Office; by phone at (847) 266-5100, or online at www.ravinia.org. Ravinia is located at the intersections of Lake-Cook and Green Bay Roads in Highland Park, IL.
Tony celebrates his 88th Birthday on August 3rd, and this remarkable music icon is still thrilling sold-out crowds and receiving rave reviews as he continues to tour all over the world. It has been over 60 years since he first touched our hearts, and his name is synonymous with The Great American Songbook. Tony has often said that he learns something new every day; and it is with this passion that he is always seeking out innovative and exciting recording adventures.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga are currently collaborating on a jazz album to be released later this fall. These two extraordinary artists have a mutual respect and admiration for one another that culminated in a duet "The Lady Is A Tramp" on Bennett's double Grammy Award-winning DUETS II album which debuted at Number One on the Billboard Charts...making Tony the only artist at the age of 85 to achieve this distinction in the history of recorded music.
Bennett and Lady Gaga recently conducted a Master Class at The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, where they delighted the students with an impromptu duet, and she also surprised audiences at this month's Montreal Jazz Festival by joining Tony on stage once again.
No one in American popular music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence as Tony Bennett. In the last decade alone, he has sold over ten million records, and is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50's 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and now into the first two decades plus of the 21st Century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into The Great American Songbook that have since become standards including, of course, his signature song the double Grammy Award-winning "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," which celebrated the 50th Anniversary of its recording and release in 2012.
With millions of records sold world-wide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Tony Bennett is the recipient of 17 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Grammy for "Record of the Year" for his "MTV Unplugged" album which introduced this American master to a whole new generation. Tony has also been honored with seven Emmy Awards for his 2007 prime time special, "Tony Bennett: An American Classic."
Last summer, "BENNETT/BRUBECK: THE WHITE HOUSE SESSIONS, LIVE 1962 (Columbia Legacy) was released. The memorable collaboration between Tony and jazz legend Dave Brubeck took place in 1962 during JFK's White House, but was only discovered in December 2012, after Brubeck's passing, by a Columbia Records archivist.
A documentary entitled, THE ZEN OF BENNETT, an intimate portrait of the legendary singer created and conceived by DANNY BENNETT, Tony's son and manager, premiered to critical acclaim at Robert De Niro's renowned Tribeca Film Festival in 2012. And at the end of that year, Bennett also penned The NY Times Bestseller, LIFE IS A GIFT, his inspiring memoir that highlights the singer's personal philosophies learned throughout his life and career. This fourth book joins THE GOOD LIFE, Tony's autobiography; and two exquisite coffee table books of his paintings, TONY BENNETT: WHAT MY HEART HAS SEEN, and TONY BENNETT IN THE STUDIO: A LIFE OF ART AND MUSIC.
Tony Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005; was named an NEA Jazz Master; received a Citizen of the World Award from the United Nations; and a Billboard Magazine Century Award in honor of his outstanding contributions to music. His humanitarian efforts are legion. Tony marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the historic Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights Movement. And he has been honored by the King Center with its "Salute to Greatness Award" for his efforts in fighting racial discrimination.
More recently, Tony and his son Danny created VOICES AGAINST VIOLENCE, teaming with the Brady center in Washington, DC to give people an opportunity to support common sense laws and keep guns out of the wrong hands.
When young people ask Tony Bennett how to get started as a performer, his answer has always been, "Get a good education first!" With that in mind, in 2001, Tony founded The Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in honor of his dear friend and mentor ((Sinatra called Tony "The best singer in the business!"). In 2009, a state-of-the-art permanent facility was built in Bennett's hometown of Astoria Queens, providing an extraordinary educational opportunity for those who wish to pursue a career in the arts. With his wife, SUSAN BENEDETTO, Tony established EXPLORING THE ARTS (ETA), a non-profit organization that supports arts education in 17 public high schools in NYC and Los Angeles.
Tony Bennett's two great passions are singing and painting. A dedicated artist, Tony's life is as colorful and vibrant as his original artwork (he's been painting since he was a youngster) which is exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums all over the world, as well as with numerous private collectors (the late Cary Grant was one). Painting under his given name Anthony Benedetto, his art is on permanent display at The Smithsonian, The National Portrait Gallery collection (his portrait of Duke Ellington); The Butler Institute of American Art; the United Nations; and the landmark National Arts Club in New York. Several years ago, Bennett gifted Ravinia with an original work, "Ravinia: Music Under the Stars," which is displayed on the Ravinia grounds. He also creates the original artwork for The American Cancer Society's annual Holiday card, the proceeds of which are earmarked for cancer research.
When Tony sings about love it comes straight from his heart, and the intimacy he evokes is unparalleled. In a 2001 Vanity Fair article, Bennett was asked "How do you sing?" He replied, "I go along in the song, paying attention to the nuances of each line, and the breathing, and the spirit. Until I come to the word 'love!' Then I give that word my attention. The word 'love.' Get it?"
Tony Bennett's name is synonymous with the pursuit of excellence and a genuine humanitarian spirit. His legacy, like the beautiful songs he sings, will be embraced forever.