Tony at 90

Tony Bennett should tell no one that he is 90, because no one would believe him, after seeing his show. I saw Tony at Ravinia, Saturday August 13. Every time I see him, it is memorable, because he is unbelievable. Did someone say 90?

He is a master showman. He does it the old fashion way. With four of the best musicians accompanying him, he embraces the microphone and sings his song. That is, he stands in front of the microphone, works the stage a bit with each musician and sings. No dancing, no prancing, no jumping, no multi media, no electronics. Tony Bennett sings. His long time friend, Frank Sinatra introduces him claiming him to be the best jazz singer of his day. And he is right.

He is elegant and graceful. The crowd is silent bursting in applause and standing ovations as Sir Bennett opens his arms to a rock star like crowd. He sings classics, not only his music but also others. He did a little of Sinatra, he recognized Duke Ellington he sang Jazz classics. His voice is clear and strong and most of all it emotes straight to you. Lady Gaga has been blessed. Each song was his very own, no matter who sung it before or no matter that made it popular. When Tony put his voice to it, it became his very own.

His standard performance at Ravinia should be a must see for all jazz fans, because we don’t know how long we will be able to see him. He has out lived the song stylists of his era. He not just the last man standing, he is the last man singing from the old school jazz book. Mark your calendars for next year so you can get a seat.

He makes Ravinia magic. On a beautiful summer night, there is nothing better than a Tony Bennett Concert under the stars. How romantic can that be? He appears younger than spring. And as he sings as one of the lyrics, “let the music play as long as he can sing. “ 90. I don’t think so.

Hermene Hartman

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