Delight in this uplifting student concert celebrating two singular figures in music with total commitment to their art—Tony Bennett ‘74H, a titan of jazz vocalists, and Lady Gaga, an empress of avant-garde pop. The pair met for the first time in 2011 when Gaga performed the jazz standard “Orange Colored Sky,” made famous by Nat King Cole, at a fundraiser where Bennett was in attendance. So impressed by her voice and artistry, Bennett suggested the pair record a jazz album together. They remained close friends and collaborators thereafter until Bennett’s passing in 2023 at age 96.
For one night only, experience beloved musical selections from their Grammy Award-winning duet albums—Cheek to Cheek and Love For Sale—alongside Bennett’s signature songs and reimagined jazz-inflected covers of Gaga hits beautifully arranged in a big swing band setting with strings. The concert will showcase the craft and artistry of over 100 Berklee singers, instrumentalists, arrangers, and dancers from 30 countries—who have each earned their coveted spot from hundreds of student auditions—breathing new life into some of the most timeless classics of the Great American Songbook with their diverse cultures from around the world.
The setlist will include “Let’s Face the Music and Dance,” “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “Love for Sale,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Bad Romance,” “Born This Way,” “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” “Because of You,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Nature Boy,” “I’ll Never Love Again,” “Lush Life,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me),” “O Sole Mio,” “The Good Life,” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” to name a few.
The show will also feature some very special guests playing alongside the student ensemble, including Tony Bennett’s long-standing touring and recording band members, guitarist Gray Sargent and bassist Marshall Wood. Sargent, who played with Tony Bennett for over 20 years, and Wood, who held down the bass chair for 10 years, played on the Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga collaborative albums and tour dates. Berklee’s own Tim Ray, esteemed musician and professor of piano, will also guest in the concert. Ray, who has played with an extensive list of artists, notably Aretha Franklin, Lyle Lovett, Kurt Elling, and Phil Woods, served as Tony Bennett’s most recent pianist and musical director, appearing in concerts with him until his retirement from singing in 2021.
Tony’s connection to Berklee and Boston is a special one. In 1973, he first performed with the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra. The following year, the College presented him with an honorary doctorate—the same year his daughter and future Berklee student Antonia Bennett was born. Tony returned to the Berklee Performance Center in 1981 to play a televised concert with Count Basie and His Orchestra.
Throughout his prolific career, Bennett remained a tireless advocate for restoring arts education in public schools. He created Exploring the Arts (ETA) with his wife, Susan Crow Benedetto, a former teacher, with a vision of supporting young people in pursuing their passion for the arts. Tony and Susan cofounded Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Bennett’s native Astoria, Queens, in 2001, named in tribute to the memory of Bennett’s best friend and colleague, Frank Sinatra. Today, the public high school serves as a beacon for talented students from all five boroughs of New York City and ETA boasts over 50 Partner Schools, impacting the lives of thousands of youth on two coasts.
In addition to his legendary career as an entertainer, he was an accomplished visual artist who sketched and painted throughout his lifetime—from his time in WWII, through his world travels on tour and at home in New York City. Painting under his family name, Benedetto, there are three original paintings as part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute.
Whether you're a longtime Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga fan or a new convert, don’t miss this unforgettable musical journey that’s perfect for audiences of all ages! The concert is produced by Maureen McMullan P.D. ‘09.
This concert will feature an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. If you are interested in viewing the performance with clear sightlines of the interpreter, choose the ASL INTERPRETATION seats in Orchestra Right 1. If you do not have the ASL passcode, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.