Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE! -- featuring an evening of classic jazz standards in both vocal duets and solo performances -- will air on THIRTEEN's Great Performances, Friday, October 24 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS. (Check local listings.)
Taped at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall on July 28, each song was handpicked by the artists, and features classic selections from the Great American Songbook. At press time, the song roster is scheduled to include "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Sophisticated Lady," "Lush Life," "Anything Goes," and the title track from their forthcoming album, "Cheek To Cheek."
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE! was filmed in front of a live audience of invited guests, many of whom were students involved in arts programs in NYC public schools.
The new special will air as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival 2014. Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE! is supported by LG Electronics USA, the official sponsor.
With set and lighting design by Robert Wilson, the stars are joined by a 39-piece orchestra conducted by Jorge Calandrelli, soloists Chris Botti on trumpet and David Mann on tenor sax, and jazz musicians associated with both artists including members of Bennett's quartet, Mike Renzi, Gray Sargent, Harold Jones and Marshall Wood, and Lady Gaga's quintet, including Brian Newman, Paul Francis, Steven Kortyka, Michael Scott Ritchie, and Alex Smith.
Award-winning director Robert Wilson's signature works include King of Spain, Deafman Glance, The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin, and A Letter for Queen Victoria. With Philip Glass, he created Einstein on the Beach. Following Einstein, Wilson worked with major European theaters and opera houses, creating Death, Destruction & Detroit and Death, Destruction & Detroit II; and the groundbreaking musical works The Black Rider and Alice. His work in the operatic repertoire includes major productions of Parsifal, The Magic Flute, Madame Butterfly, and Lohengrin. Extensive retrospectives have been presented in Paris, Boston, Amsterdam, London, New York, Bilbao, and Seattle.
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga first met backstage in 2011 after the two performed at the Robin Hood Foundation gala in New York City and Bennett asked Lady Gaga to sing a duet with him on his Duets II album that he was beginning to record. "The Lady is A Tramp" was the result of that endeavor and conversations began about collaborating on a jazz project.
Recently, Bennett and Gaga surprised the student body at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a New York City public arts high school founded by Tony Bennett, when they spoke and performed for the school on the last day of classes in June. Lady Gaga surprised the Montreal Jazz Festival audience by joining Bennett on stage when he was performing at the famed jazz festival in July.
"Cheek To Cheek," the collaborative jazz album from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, will be released on Streamline/Columbia/Interscope Records on Tuesday, September 23. The debut song from the album, Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" was recently released on iTunes and hit #1 on Billboard's Digital Jazz Charts.
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE! is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. With set design and lighting by Robert Wilson. Directed by David Horn. Mitch Owgang is producer; Phil Hack is line producer. For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.
Great Performances is funded by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust, the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Rosalind P. Walter, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, and PBS.