Presented by AARP
AARP is proud to present a selection of lectures to the 50-plus community from One Day University. One Day University works with hundreds of professors from over 200 of the country’s best colleges to develop fascinating talks designed to educate, entertain and inspire. Join us for musical journey of this singing icon, followed by a live Q&A with Professor Celenza!
A SINATRA CENTENNIAL: WHAT MADE OL’ BLUE EYES GREAT?
Anna Celenza / Georgetown University
Frank Sinatra gave 20th-century America a voice. Through his music, stage shows, films and abashedly public private life, he offered audiences a vision of the “American Dream” that contrasted greatly with the suburban ideal of the hardworking man. Sinatra was entirely in tune with his audiences’ needs and desires. But this isn’t what made him great.
As this lecture demonstrates, Sinatra’s name lives on because of his distinctive musical style. His phrasing and tone, the timbre of his voice: these are the qualities that set him apart. Using numerous musical examples, Anna Celenza traces the origins of the famous “Sinatra Sound” and reveals how, over the last half century, it has influenced a disparate array of musical styles and genres that make up the kaleidoscopic nature of today’s American soundtrack.
Anna Celenza is the Thomas E. Caestecker Professor of Music at Georgetown University. She is the author of several books, including “Jazz Italian Style: From Its Origins in New Orleans to Fascist Italy and Sinatra.” In addition to her scholarly work, she has served as a writer/commentator for NPR’s Performance Today and published eight award-winning children’s books, among them “Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue” and “Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite.” She has been featured on nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, including the BBC’s “Music Matters” and C-Span’s “Book TV.”