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Tony Bennett Honored with Street in front of Fairmont San Francisco
Famed Singer Will Unveil “Tony Bennett Way”
During Free Block Party – Saturday, June 2: 12noon – 3pm
30 May 2018 – San Francisco, CA: San Francisco’s singing ambassador, Tony Bennett, will unveil “his” street sign on Saturday, June 2nd in front of the storied Fairmont Hotel where his first public performance of the iconic classic “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” took place in December 1961. From 12noon – 3pm on June 2, a free-and-open-to-the-public block party with food, music, big-band dancing and a special interactive “Heart Salute” to the legendary crooner will take place on the 900 block of Mason Street, hitherto to be known as Tony Bennett Way. The legislation renaming the street was passed unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in November of last year, and was one of the last official acts of the late Mayor Edwin M. Lee.
“Tony Bennet forever immortalized our great city with the legendary song ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco,’ so it is only appropriate that we return the favor by renaming a portion of Mason Street in his honor,” said Mayor Mark Farrell. “Throughout his iconic career, Tony has been a wonderful ambassador for our City, always eager to literally sing the praises of our home. It fills me with pride to formally recognize San Francisco’s longtime relationship with our great friend by announcing the unveiling of Tony Bennet Way.”
Scheduled to be on-hand for the event are U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, former San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Italian Consul General Lorenzo Ortona and San Francisco Director of Protocol Charlotte Shultz among other dignitaries. Liam Mayclem, KCBS Radio’s “Foodie Chap”, will emcee the event. Providing entertainment will be the Cosmo Alley Cats, Accordionist Suzanne Ramsey, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the San Francisco Boys Chorus, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and The Dick Bright Orchestra. Shawna Ferris from Beach Blanket Babylon will lead the crowd in a sing-a-long of “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”
“On any street in the world, you can hear San Francisco’s singing ambassador singing his signature song, our song,” said Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, San Francisco Director of Protocol and organizer for this weekend’s event. “So, it’s perfectly appropriate for us to now have a street named in his honor here, right in front of his statue. I promise, this Saturday will be a true love in on the streets of San Francisco.”
This weekend’s salute will include a number of free family-friendly activities including face painting, circus acts and a Cable Car “Bell Ringing Contest” for youth in addition to bringing two famous San Francisco landmarks into the streets from the Fairmont: the Tonga Room and the Venetian Room “outside” for one day.
“Fairmont San Francisco is thrilled to honor Mr. Bennett with this special tribute that offers visitors a glimpse into our city’s history,” says Paul Tormey, Regional Vice President & General Manager of Fairmont San Francisco (www.fairmont.com/san-francisco). “Our iconic property has enjoyed an incredible relationship with this legendary artist that has spanned more than five decades and included countless performances in the Venetian Room , a time capsule buried here in 1999, and the 2016 installation of a bronze statue of his likeness in front of the hotel to mark the celebration of his 90th birthday. We thank Mr. Bennett for always being there, as our ambassador for Fairmont San Francisco and an enthusiastic promoter and friend of his City by the Bay.”
In honor of the occasion, Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream will be serving its unique flavor, “Duet,” a Tahitian Vanilla ice cream swirled with Limoncello sorbet and house-made fennel biscotti. Inspired by his “Duets” album, the ice cream is an unexpected pairing of two classics with an Italian twist. The ice cream was first served at the public dedication and unveiling of the Tony Bennett statue in front of the Fairmont to mark the singer’s 90th birthday in August 2016.
About Tony Bennett
Entering his seventh decade as a recording artist with over 100 albums and 15 Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Bennett has earned his legendary status many times over. He remains the Columbia recording artist with the greatest longevity at the label. His 2007 prime-time special, “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” won seven Emmy Awards and was directed by Academy Award winner Rob Marshall. He has performed for 10 U.S. Presidents, from Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama. He also worked with and marched alongside Martin Luther King in his 1965 civil rights march and was honored with the Martin Luther King’s Salute to Greatness Award. In addition to performing, he is a visual artist as well, with three of his original paintings featured in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian, including his portraits of Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. His humanitarian efforts are renowned and the United Nations honored him with their Humanitarian Award in 2007. He has published three books – his autobiography, “The Good Life,” and two books of his paintings, “Tony Bennett: What My Heart Has Seen,” and “Tony Bennett In the Studio: A Life of Art and Music.” Bennett founded, in association with the Department of Education in New York City, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts – a public arts high school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens. With his wife Susan, he established Exploring the Arts, a charitable organization which supports arts education in NYC public high schools. Exploring the Arts supports 14 public high schools throughout New York City. For more information about Tony Bennett, go to: www.tonybennett.com