Sunday, March 11, 2012

Tony Award-Winning Moment

A rather lazy Sunday so far... set the clocks ahead, and I think I'm still running an hour behind. 

The Bennetts steppin' out at NRM! Photo by
Jeremy Clowe for Norman Rockwell Museum.
© All rights reserved.
Last night's opening and press conference for Everett Raymond Kinstler: Pulps to Portraits went well, and it was a great pleasure to welcome our special celebrity guest, singer Tony Bennett to the Museum. It turns out that Kinstler and Bennett used to go to the same high school, and have been friends for quite some time. Mr. Kinstler has even painted Bennett's portrait on a number of occasions, and we have one of those paintings currently on view in the exhibition. Mr. Bennett is a visual artist as well, and has done fairly well for himself as a painter. He had very nice things to say about both Kinstler and Norman Rockwell in that regard, and I was glad to get it on tape. 

I can't say I knew much about Tony Bennett until his big comeback in the 1990s, when he began appearing on MTV and performing with contemporary pop acts. I was never a big Frank Sinatra fan, so I didn't think I would care much for his singing style either, and paid little attention. A few years back I had the chance to work an event at Tanglewood, the performing arts center in the Berkshires, and Bennett was giving a concert that evening. I stuck around and watched the performance, and I have to say that it was one of the best live music shows I have seen! For a singer of his age, he put so much energy into the show, and had a wonderful way of phrasing−sort of jazz-style... what an entertainer! After watching some early performance clips online, I really think he has gotten better with age−that's rather inspiring to know that as an artist, your best work can lie ahead of you.

Steppin' out w/my baby... pulp style!
©Jeremy Clowe. All rights reserved.
After the opening, Sarah, my co-workers and I went out to do some karaoke− tried to let Tony know, but I guess he left early (so much for Duets Part III). We still had good fun, and I was definitely thinking of the veteran performer as I tore into some soul and Beatles classics, while looking sharp in my suit and tie. One of the DJs came up to me at one point and said that he loved my energy onstage, which made me feel good. I also had people in the audience cheering me on... even after I had left the stage! Wish TB had been there to see me... maybe there's hope for me as well by the time I reach 85!

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