Tony Bennett: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

(Rochester, NY) – Tony Bennett: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, a PBS music special honoring Tony Bennett’s receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song premieres Friday, January 12, 2018 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV. The program will also be broadcast at a later date via the American Forces Network to American service men and women and civilians at U.S. Department of Defense locations around the world. Tony Bennett is the first “interpretive singer” to be the recipient of the Gershwin Prize.

The event, taping on November 15, 2017 at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., will feature performances by Bennett, as well as Chris Botti, Michael Bublé, Gloria Estefan, Michael Feinstein, Savion Glover, Josh Groban, Wé McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Vanessa Williams, 2009 Gershwin Prize honoree Stevie Wonder and a special presentation by Wynton Marsalis — with Bruce Willis as host and Gregg Field as music director (program subject to change). During the event, Bennett will be presented the Gershwin Prize by Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, and a delegation of Members of Congress.

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is named in honor of the legendary songwriting team George and Ira Gershwin. The prize is given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. The Gershwin Prize was first awarded to Paul Simon in 2007, followed by Stevie Wonder in 2009, Sir Paul McCartney in 2010, the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 2012, Carole King in 2013, Billy Joel in 2014, Willie Nelson in 2015 and Smokey Robinson in 2016.

Bennett is an artist for all ages whose interpretations and re-interpretations have introduced new generations to the Great American Songbook. He is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in seven consecutive decades, beginning in the 1950s through the 2010s. Bennett celebrated his 90th birthday on August 3, and the milestone was highlighted with the broadcast of a television special, the release of a new CD and book, and the lighting of the Empire State Building honoring his musical legacy.

Pictured: Honoree Tony Bennett with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden as she presents the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
Credit: Courtesy of Cable Risdon Photography

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