By: Peter Beije | Photos: Shawn Peters, Steven Klein, Paul Natkin & Laurent Seroussi
Fans who would like to attend the concert in the Belgian city of Ghent have to be quick. Almost all of the 3500 tickets for Sunday July 12 are already sold. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga end the first festival weekend on that day. There are also performances by French trumpet player Stephane Belmondo and Trio and the trio of the American pianist Bill Charlap.
The organization behind the Gent Jazz Festival has, in part due to the concert of the illustrious American duo, decided to change the way things are organized for the large concert tent. Those who have a ticket also have a permanent seat for the whole day. This only applies during the first weekend of the festival. [Note: The festival starts Friday 10 and continues up to and including Saturday 18 July.]
In the past, festival visitors could sit where they wanted. This year on 10, 11 and 12 July visitors will have the same reserved seat for all the concerts on the main stage. There are also a number of different price categories.
To date the Cheek to Cheek Tour of Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga is booked at four jazz festivals that are taking place in July. They are: Copenhagen (8 July), North Sea Jazz (Rotterdam, 10 July), Ghent (12 July) and Umbria Jazz (15 July). The festival tour ends at the Cap Roig Festival in Spain on17 July.
The 88-year-old crooner Tony Bennett and his sixty years younger colleague released the album ‘Cheek to Cheek’ in September last year. The CD features classic jazz songs and it reached the number 1 position on the US Billboard 200. Thus Bennett became the oldest artist in music history with a No. 1 album on the Billboard hit list. The CD won a Grammy Award 2015 in the category Best traditional pop vocal album.
Lady Gaga, who is mainly known for big pop hits like Bad Romance, Just Dance and Pokerface, previously worked with jazz great Bennett. On the album ‘Duets II’, she sang the famous song The Lady is a Tramp. That number was also released as a video.
Other names in Ghent that will attract jazz fans in the first weekend of the festival are Jack DeJohnette, Charles Lloyd, Bill Laswell and Abdullah Ibrahim.
The second part of the festival starts at Wednesday 15 July. The French star Zaz performs a blend of jazz, chanson and swing. Other great names featured in that week are Gregory Porter, Snarky Puppy, Rodrigo y Gabriela and young blues god Gary Clark Jr.
For information and tickets: www.gentjazz.com