Music

Josh Groban to Host Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 2024 Gala, Which Will Toast Late Legend Tony Bennett

On Monday (March 24), Jazz at Lincoln Center revealed the host for its upcoming all-star tribute to late legend Tony Bennett, which doubles as the center’s annual gala fundraiser. Tony-nominated, Billboard 200-topping singer and actor Josh Groban is set to host the April 17 even at the Frederick P. Rose Hall in Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.

The evening, titled Celebrating Tony Bennett, will honor the jazz vocal great and raise money for Jazz at Lincoln Center, with items from Tony Bennett’s personal collection being auctioned off. Wynton Marsalis, managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, will lead the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra throughout the evening, with Rubén Blades, Bernadette Peters, Kristin Chenoweth, Norm Lewis, Kurt Elling, Ekep Nkwelle, Robbie Lee and Shenel Johns providing vocal performances. Jazz pianist Bill Charlap will also perform, in addition to receiving an award for artistic excellence. Tim Jackson, former artistic director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, and Randall Kline, founder of SFJAZZ, will receive the Ed Bradley award for leadership in jazz at the April 17 gala. You can get more information about the gala celebration at the organization’s website.

Over the course of his impossibly long career, Tony Bennett helped define what it meant to be an interpreter of the Great American Songbook, connecting jazz, pop, Broadway and Tin Pan Alley with his elegant, smooth phrasing. Working with jazz giants from Count Basie to Bill Evans, Bennett continued to deliver gold during the last decade of his career, recording two jazz-inflected albums with Lady Gaga (Cheek to Cheek in 2014; Love for Sale in 2021) and one with Diana Krall (Love Is Here to Stay in 2018) before passing away at the age of 96 in July 2023. Although he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016, Bennett continued to perform and release music until 2021, wrapping his touring career with a concert at Radio City Music Hall alongside collaborator and devotee Lady Gaga in August 2021.

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