Review: Michael Feinstein and the Carnegie Hall Big Band Honor Tony Bennett

New Carnegie Hall Big Band accompanied Feinstein in tribute to legendary crooner

By: Mar. 29, 2024
Review: Michael Feinstein and the Carnegie Hall Big Band Honor Tony Bennett
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What a night, what a performance! Dressed subtly in all black, the sublime showman that is Michael Feinstein had the filled-to-capacity audience singing along with him at STANDARD TIME WITH Michael Feinstein, BECAUSE OF YOU: MY TRIBUTE TO Tony Bennett on March 27, 2024.  The show, which honored the legacy of renowned crooner Tony Bennett, was also the time and place for the thrilling debut of the new Carnegie Hall Big Band, which accompanied Feinstein on the evening’s musical journey. 

The energetic and magnetic Feinstein started off the evening with his belting renditions of Gershwin's “Strike Up The Band” and Cy Coleman’s “The Best Is Yet To Come,” and so it was.  Feinstein, always the storyteller, relayed tidbits of Tony Bennett’s life and philosophy to theatergoers along the way.  The Queens, NY native came from humble beginnings, but who of us knew that his family felt strongly inclined towards education in the arts and culture and thus they were the impetus for his becoming a singer.  Bennett, had dabbled in other artistic areas along the way and had even at one point considered becoming a painter.   After seeing the horrors of World War II, the young Tony Bennett had returned stateside to fight his way to the top of the music profession as he felt that music could be the means to bring lasting peace to a war-weary world.  

Feinstein’s sonorous vocals were in magnificent form as they synced to the pounding rhythm of Gershwin’s “Steppin Out With My Baby” and Irving Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek,” who along with Cole Porter, were favorite composers of Tony Bennett.  The audience roared with applause at Feinstein’s repertoire of Tony Bennett renowned songs including ”New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel, “Fly Me To The Moon” by Bart Howard, “If I Ruled The World” by Leslie Bricusse and Cyril Ornadel, the Motown hit “For Once In My Life” by Ron Miller and Orlando Murden as well as his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by George Cory,  to name but a few.  Additionally, the audience delighted in the Carnegie Hall Big Band’s rousing solo performance of the Cole Porter hit “I Concentrate On You”  – and  we were told these talented musicians would begin on a national tour soon.  Yes, folks, we got the first glimpse of what is sure to be a phenomenal US tour of this incredible Big Band!!

When at last the night was done, a rousing standing ovation and vibrant applause reverberated within the iconic venue for the acclaimed musical Tour de Force that is Michael Feinstein and the marvelous Carnegie Hall Big Band.  

STANDARD TIME WITH Michael Feinstein, BECAUSE OF YOU: MY TRIBUTE TO Tony Bennett featuring the Carnegie Hall Big Band featured the incomparable musical entertainer extraordinaire Michael Feinstein and the Carnegie Hall Big Band consisting of Andy Farber, Jordan Pettay, Sam Dillon, Brandon Wright, Kurt Bacher (Saxophones), Brian Pareschi, Alphonso Horne, Mark McGowan, Warren Vache (Trumpets), Michael BoscarinoJames Burton III, Mariel Bildsten, James Borowski (Trombones), Pete Smith (Guitar), Tedd Firth (Piano), David Finck (Bass), and Mark McLean (Drums).

Find great shows to see on the Carnegie Hall website here.