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Nat King Cole Tribute featuring Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli at McCoy Center

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by Andrew Patton on March 6, 2017

Two jazz titans come to New Albany next week to celebrate the legacy of an all-time great. CAPA presents Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute featuring Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., New Albany) on Sunday, March 19th, at 7pm. Cole, whose roots in jazz informed his cool style that broke through to great pop success, will be remembered by two modern jazz icons that were strongly influenced by his timeless tunes. Pianist Lewis’ 50+ year career started with a similar breakthrough of infusing pop tunes with energetic swing, and guitarist/vocalist Pizzarelli has interpreted the Great American Songbook with jazzy class, including several tributes to Cole. Tickets are $36-$61 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and online here. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000. Get your tickets now for a star-studded celebration of a classic jazz hero! Keep reading for more details from CAPA:

STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT: THE NAT KING COLE TRIBUTE FEATURING RAMSEY LEWIS & JOHN PIZZARELLI TO PLAY THE MCCOY MARCH 19

Nat King Cole broke the pop barrier in 1943 when his “Straighten Up and Fly Right” soared up the charts. His smooth, smoky vocals continued to rack up pop hit after hit, but his piano technique, vocal phrasings, and on-the-mark orchestration always hinted to his early roots in jazz. Pianist Ramsey Lewis and guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli have tailored a tribute to the titan of ’50s vocal pop that includes Cole’s hits and as well as his singular tracks of sophisticated cool jazz that have influenced their own.

CAPA presents Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute featuring Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts (100 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., New Albany) on Sunday, March 19, at 7 pm. Tickets are $36-$61 at the CAPA Ticket Center (39 E. State St.), all Ticketmaster outlets, and www.ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, please call (614) 469-0939 or (800) 745-3000.

About Ramsey Lewis
Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for more than 50 years with an unforgettable sound and outgoing personality that has allowed him to cross over to the pop and R&B charts. The Ramsey Lewis Trio became a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, and Lewis earned his first Gold record, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance, for their swinging version of Dobie Gray’s hit “The In Crowd.” He returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade in the Water.”

Throughout his illustrious career, Lewis, who is a NEA Jazz Master, has joined forces with countless other artists to create new and innovative music. He collaborated with Nancy Wilson on “The Two of Us” (1984); with London’s Philharmonic Orchestra for the album A Classic Encounter (1988); and with Dr. Billy Taylor for a set of piano duets in We Meet Again (1989). In 1995, Lewis launched the side project Urban Knights, in which he collaborated with a handful of successful crossover jazz stars, including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh, and Dave Koz.

In 1997, Lewis added disc jockey to his resume, hosting a popular show on Chicago’s WNUA-FM that ran until 2009. A new show was syndicated in 2006 under the name “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis” and was broadcast on jazz radio stations across the country. In 2006, a well-received, 13-episode “Legends of Jazz” television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast by PBS on public TV nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists.

About John Pizzarelli
John Pizzarelli has established himself as one of the prime interpreters of the Great American Songbook and beyond, bringing to his work the cool jazz flavor of his brilliant guitar playing and singing. For Pizzarelli though, his hero and foundation was Nat “King”. In fact, Pizzarelli devoted Dear Mr. Cole and P.S. Mr. Cole to music made famous by the beloved song stylist. Pizzarelli’s catalog of albums also includes a touching cycle of torch ballads (After Hours), a collection of classic swing and bold originals (Our Love is Here to Stay), and a charming holiday disc (Let’s Share Christmas).

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The 2016-17 Marquee Series at the McCoy Center for the Arts is made possible through the generous support of series sponsors the New Albany Community Foundation and Lbrands Foundation, and presenting sponsors EMH&T, Savko & Sons, and Scioto Ready Mix. Additional support provided by Axium Plastics, Methodist Elder Care, New Albany Co., Ruscilli Construction Co., and Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.

About the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts
The Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, established in 2007 by a unique joint operating agreement between the New Albany Community Foundation, the City of New Albany, Plain Township, and the New Albany Plain Local School District. Since opening in 2008, the McCoy Center has drawn more than 100,000 people, fulfilling its mission of fostering an appreciation of arts and culture by providing life-long learning opportunities through education, exposure, and participation. For more information, visit www.mccoycenter.org.

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