The Zen of Tony Bennett

Monday, November 26, 2012

Legendary singer, artist, and performer Tony Bennett discusses his life, his six-decade career in music, and his new memoir, Life Is a Gift: The Zen of Bennett. He’s won 17 Grammys, sung for 10 presidents, and performed for royalty, never compromising his vision or values. His memoir is a collection of reflections and philosophies from his life and career, stories of friends and family and the essential lessons they’ve taught him.


Tony Bennett

Comments [9]

jamesdaddio from NYC

Good job Lenny..Especially noticing that the rare relationships with Bill Evans is one of jazz vocals greatest moments like many musicians Tony is a shear joyful spirit in voice soul and body and jazz singer as he stated.. There is so much to learn in a career like that but the essence is in the Evans song that everyone should listen too fame when you get it comes and goes in a minute. How wonderful to embody quality at its essence and to have it endure through family. It doesn’t get any better than that. I don’t think you would see Tony throw 30,000 a shot at the table like Sinatra but both embody amazing but different voices.

Nov. 28 2012 09:44 AM
Megan from Brooklyn

I am not a professional musician, but I am so inspired by the work and life and these musings by Tony Bennett. This has been my favorite interview in such a long time.

Nov. 26 2012 01:53 PM
Sam from Astoria

There's a Tony Bennett High School here in Astoria. Maybe ask some more about Tony's ongoing connection to the neighborhood or that school specifically?

Nov. 26 2012 01:41 PM
fuva from harlemworld

No, Leonard, it's different today. These days, the kids can't sing or deliver a song. Tony's right. Except, of course, formal training is not the issue...

Nov. 26 2012 01:32 PM
Brenda from New York City

Thank you Mr. Bennett for your much needed take on today's singers! The goal of fame, versus craft and cultivation of talent is sad and a great disservice to young performers. Thank you for being music to my ears in more ways than one.

Nov. 26 2012 01:31 PM
Michael Bergelson from Morningside Heights

I have been a true devotee of Mr. Bennett's for decades, since the early 1970's.

It's his own true devotion to his art that has sustained him and differentiated him from thousands of others.

The more intimate his direction, the better he got.

Does Mr. Bennett recall the NYTimes Magazine cover article by Sidney Zion from long ago, titled "Outlasting Rock"? Mr. Bennett was featured.

Nov. 26 2012 01:30 PM
Henry from Manhattan

On TV voice talent shows:

“They have the children screaming.”
--Tony Bennett


Nov. 26 2012 01:29 PM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I "met" Tony Bennett in the mid-50s -- I was a teenager and had never heard of him, but I was smitten. This was the Steel Pier in Atlantic City -- my mother and I were staying at the Tramore. Whenever I hear him sing it's like running into an old friend.

Nov. 26 2012 01:29 PM
tommy anello from Howard Beach, New York

Tony Bennett is a true gentleman. At a Mall in Florida in the 80's, I purchased one of his paintings which he signed for me. I shared that as a singer, I felt I had hit a wall musically. He suggested that I should try to just "let things happen' naturally. A few years later, we met again. He actually remembered me and our conversation. I was amazed. I agree with radio show host Jonathan Schwartz who says Tony Bennett is beyond category.

Nov. 23 2012 05:16 PM

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