Nat King Cole is remembered at the National Symphony Orchestra concert
Nat King Cole sold 50 million records during his career. The recording industry credits him as the voice that built Capitol Records. This is because he has recorded over 150 singles which have reached the Billboard Pop, R&B and Country charts. This achievement has yet to be matched by any other Capitol artist.
Cole’s incredible career success, along with the respect he earned from his entertainment peers and fans who adored him are just some of the reasons for the upcoming centenary celebration of this great legend of American music.
The National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) will accompany top musical talent for the “Nat King Cole at 100” concert series at the Kennedy Center from October 17-19. Featured artists include singers Patti Austin, Eric Benét, Freddy Cole, BeBe Winans and Ryan Shaw. Tap dancers Dulé Hill and Jared Grimes will also perform.
The producer of “Nat King Cole at 100” is Elizabeth Healy, who has worked on birthday and tribute shows for many years. Production of “Nat King Cole at 100” began two years ago following a conversation Healy had with Casey Cole, one of Nat King Cole’s twin daughters. Healy contacted the National Symphony Orchestra and musician / composer Terri Lyne Carrington.
“The concert will feature new arrangements of Nat King Cole songs,” Healy said when asked about the music and the talent list for the concert. “When you plan these kinds of shows, you want people who really want to be there, who want to pay homage to the great artist that is Nat King Cole.”
Once the songs were decided, the song matching with the vocalists began for Healy, Carrington, and Michael Butterman, the ONS conductor for the concert. In addition to hearing music from Nat King Cole, video footage will be used throughout the show to further highlight Cole’s career.
Cole’s brother, Freddy Cole, is one of the star singers. Freddy Cole travels to Washington, DC several times a year, performing at the Kennedy Center and Blues Alley. Popular and respected musician and singer, he maintains a very active touring schedule. Freddy Cole turned 88 on October 15. Recently, while on his way to a concert in Arkansas, he reflected on the upcoming tribute concert in honor of his brother.
“I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Freddy Cole. “I want people to hear the music and like it the way I liked it.”
Musical director Carrington said he is working on the new arrangements for “Nat King Cole at 100”, together with Edmar Colón, a renowned musician and composer based at Berklee College in Boston, where he and Carrington are part of the corps. professor. Carrington, an award-winning artist, is no stranger to Kennedy Center, either. She has performed for the concerts of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters and the contests and concerts of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. While on a break from touring Brazil, Carrington spoke of working on “Nat King Cole at 100”.
“Files were sent to the singers to hear the new arrangements. We will be meeting a few days before the first performance to polish the production, ”Carrington said of the remote music making process for“ Nat King Cole at 100 ”. “I am happy to be a part of this music and to work with talented artists on this tribute.”
“Nat King Cole at 100” will take place October 17-19, 2019. Ticket information is available through the Kennedy Center by calling (202) 467-4600 or visiting the website https: //www.kennedy- center.org.