Bennett, Gaga: Kids should know more about jazz U.S. singers Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett pose on the balcony of Brussels townhall (AP photo / Reuters)
Bennett, Gaga: Kids should know more about jazz
Lexile

Kids, singers Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga have homework for you. They want you to listen to their new jazz album.

The Grammy Award winners say they hope "Cheek to Cheek," an album featuring selections from the Great American Songbook, will turn younger people on to jazz music. The Great American Songbook includes some of the best American music of the 20th century.

"The point of this album is not only to bring Tony and I together to collaborate. But to bring jazz to an entirely new audience," Gaga said. "This is really about us giving jazz what it deserves, which is the upmost respect and upmost praise."

"Cheek to Cheek" features covers of songs from Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" to Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" to Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life." Gaga and Bennett have worked on the album, to be released Tuesday, for two years.

"Besides having the whole world enjoying her right now, she has a vast group of young people who love her. And they've never heard popular jazz music, classical American music," Bennett said. "And my ambition was to do this album so they would get acquainted with that music."

Gaga, like Bennett, grew up in New York. She has been singing jazz music since she was 13. She broke onto the music scene in 2008 with multiple No. 1 hits flavored with dance and electronic beats.

"It's truer to my nature," she said of recording jazz. "Because so much of what I've done has been heavily Auto-Tuned or made very electronic to fit on the radio. But this is so much easier because I'm a rebel and this is really rebellious for me to say goodbye to pop for a moment and just sing some pure jazz." Auto Tune is an electronic process that can artificially improve sound.

"The truth is that this is the original pop music of America," she added. "And I've been trying to explain to my fans in the best way that I can that these songs are truly timeless."

Gaga, 28, and Bennett, 88, first collaborated in 2011 on "The Lady Is a Tramp." The song appeared on Bennett's album "Duets II." It sold more than 1 million copies and won two Grammy Awards.

Bennett, who had his first number one song in 1951, said the key to his longevity is maintaining high standards.

"I joined the American Theatre Wing (after fighting in World War II). And it was the best choice I ever made," he said, because he learned not to compromise on quality.

"And now," he said, "it's all paid off."

Critical thinking challenge: Why does this collaboration have a better chance of introducing jazz to kids? What does Lady Gaga add to the equation?

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COMMENTS (36)
  • Nadia-Ram
    9/23/2014 - 09:13 a.m.

    i like this story about you and also i like the kind of words you used that i didnt know before and you also is a god writer for the best singinger i know thanks for this article

  • Cs2001Tardis
    9/23/2014 - 01:10 p.m.

    This collaboration has a better chance of introducing jazz to kids because Lady Gaga is very popular with kids and has been singing jazz most of her life. Lady Gaga adds to the equation is popularly with many kids.

  • tiapod
    9/23/2014 - 01:24 p.m.

    As a whole, Jazz music and Broadway music are what I was brought up listening to. My mom and grandma were the ones who introduced me. I feel like more people WILL listen to jazz music because Lady Gaga is singing it. The kids of today should know what music their parents and grandparents would have listened to when they were kids. It brings a sense of bonding and you may finally understand how great this genre of music really is.

    In the text, it says that Gaga and Bennet's last song won two Grammy awards. This is mind blowing. This really does mean that today's generation is building the bridge backwards into classics!

  • Dain8201
    9/23/2014 - 01:33 p.m.

    I believe that children of my generation should definitely learn more about jazz, as it is something major in American culture. Jazz was the music of the Greatest Generation, who used jazz to persevere through the Great Depression and become victorious against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. Jazz is an important American past time, and should not be forgotten.

  • Anyssa_Sv6
    9/23/2014 - 02:09 p.m.

    The main idea of this article is that Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga want you to listen to their new jazz album. They think that jazz is the real pop. "The truth is that this is the original pop music of America," Gaga added. "And I've been trying to explain to my fans in the best way that I can that these songs are truly timeless."I think that people should listen to more jazz also.

  • Colefishy618
    9/23/2014 - 05:55 p.m.

    I think this collaboration will help introduce new styles of jazz to children and young adults. They have a chance because of Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is very popular with kids and modern music. Having her singing jazz could really open up the eyes of many people.

  • Colefishy618
    9/23/2014 - 05:55 p.m.

    I think this collaboration will help introduce new styles of jazz to children and young adults. They have a chance because of Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is very popular with kids and modern music. Having her singing jazz could really open up the eyes of many people.

  • KiraL-1
    9/23/2014 - 09:08 p.m.

    This article is about Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's new jazz album, "Cheek to Cheek". Bennett and Gaga hope to turn kids on to jazz music and make them appreciate it's beauty. In a recent interview, Gaga gushes that she's excited to do something different than the electronic dance music that's been heavily auto tuned. She says she likes singing the songs she grew up singing and she wants to show her fans that there is more to music than just electronic dance. This album will have a collection of jazz standards, some from The Great American Songbook. I think Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's new album was a great idea to show children that there is so much more to music than what they are exposed to. I think Lady Gaga also shows that she is not just a singer, but a musician. Although I don't think this album will change the way children think about jazz music, I think it will show children the different elements of music.

  • HannahH-1
    9/23/2014 - 10:17 p.m.

    Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett are collaborating to create a jazz album aimed towards a younger audience. Gaga refers to jazz as the "the original pop music of America" and she believes that it deserves the up most respect and praise. Lady Gaga 28, has been singing jazz since the age of 13 and says that she enjoys it much more than the heavily auto tuned pop music she is used to. Bennett 88, too has been singing jazz for the majority of his life growing up in NYC. Lady Gaga has a large group of young fans which will allow her to easily turn them onto this type of music. I found it interesting that Lady Gaga is working on a jazz album when most of her audience knows her for her hit pop songs. I personally am not a fan of jazz and I don't think I will likely listen to this new albums.

  • kr2001panda
    9/24/2014 - 08:43 a.m.

    The resin that kid like the jazz because lady gaga in to and that everyone love her and her music and song that she sing in. Why does lady gaga add to it because she make it more fun to the music.

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