Straighten Up & Fly Right: The Nat King Cole Tribute

    Straighten Up & Fly Right:

    The Nat King Cole Tribute

    Featuring Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli

    Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    “We have a hard time imagining anyone recapturing the magic of sterling jazz pianist and pop-idol crooner Nat King Cole in quite the way that piano vet Ramsey Lewis and string-swing star John Pizzarelli do.”

    ~ Time Out New York

    Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College concludes its 2015-16 Jazz Series on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 3pm with three-time Grammy Award-winning pianist Ramsey Lewis and singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli, joining forces in a tribute to the titan of fifties vocal pop, Nat King Cole.  Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1pm-6pm).

    Nat King Cole broke the pop barrier with his smoky, smooth vocals, stringing along a huge number of solid hits right after his first, “Straighten Up And Fly Right,” soared up the charts in 1943. As a singer he was called “the best friend a song ever had,” but he was essentially a jazz performer at heart. Even those later tracks crafted for the pop charts belie a piano technique, vocal phrasing, and on-the-mark orchestration that are indebted to his early roots in jazz.  Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli have tailored a tribute to Cole, from his hits along with those singular tracks of sophisticated cool jazz that have influenced their own.  The concert features 16 of Cole’s most beloved tunes, from “Sentimental Reasons” and “ Body and Soul” to “Route 66,” “Unforgettable,” and, of course, “Straighten Up And Fly Right.”