In honor of the legendary Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, the Tribeca Film Festival hosted a powerhouse tribute to the deceased musician. During the tribute, which took place in Manhattan’s Spring Studios, the audience was treated to a screening of Sinatra’s 1949 film with Gene Kelly On the Town as well as a series of tribute performances. Tony Bennett, Ne-Yo, Lea DeLaria, Brandon Flowers, and Alice Smith all took the stage for musical acts with the backing of J.C. Hopkins Biggish Band while Savion Glover provided a tap dance break performing to “You Make Me Feel So Young” in honor of the prevalence of tap dancing in On the Town.
Lea DeLaria, a comedic actress most notable for her appearance on Orange is the New Black, kicked off the live tribute with several live renditions of Sinatra’s classics including “Luck be a Lady.” Flowers, of the Killers fame, explored a more jazz oriented sound while tackling Sinatra’s “The House I Live In” and “Come Fly With Me.
Ne-Yo’s crystalline vocals and smooth attitude were a perfect fit for Sinatra’s discography, as the musician worked his way through a short set. The “Let Me Love You” crooner hit things off with “You Make Me Feel So Young” before moving into “I Could Have Danced All Nihgt.” Ne-Yo closed his set with a duet with Alice Smith on “Lady Is a Tramp,” which served as a segue to her own solo performance of hits including “Night & Day” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
Tony Bennett took the stage for the tribute performance with a heartfelt speech in which he proclaimed “he was my best friend” in regards to Sinatra. He went on to claim that Sinatra “told everyone I was his favorite singer, and I’ve been sold out ever since.” Afterwards, the prolific jazz singer performed “Without a Song” and “In The Wee Small Hours” in honor of his late friend. In 1992 the musician released a tribute album to Sinatra titled Perfectly Frank, so he was no stranger to working his way around a Sinatra classic. Ne-Yo, Smith, Flowers, and DeLaria closed the tribute with a powerhouse finale complete with performances of Sinatra’s classic hit “New York, New York.”
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