The Jose Iturbi Foundation recently hosted “Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday Celebration” on July 22, featuring an all-star cast of guest artists including Kurt Elling, Jose James, Seu Jorge, Seth MacFarlane, John Pizzarelli, Luciana Souza, Carmen Bradford, Christian McBride and The Count Basie Orchestra.
For two decades, the Foundation has paid tribute to Spanish-born pianist and conductor Iturbi by sponsoring concerts and international musical competitions, and showcasing up-and-coming professional classical music artists. The evening at the Hollywood Bowl featured Sinatra’s hits performed by singers and musicians.
“[It’s] a fitting tribute to ‘Old Blue Eyes’,” said Cassandra Peterson, who is perhaps better known as “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”. “One of my favorite moments of the evening was seeing a film clip of Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Joseph Iturbi at the Hollywood Bowl back when “Old Blue Eyes” was probably in his twenties. A great bit of Hollywood history.”
Donelle Dadigan, founder and president of the Hollywood Museum, and the Jose Iturbi Foundation, hosted the evening. Dadigan is being toated by former L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge. Additional guests included Doris Roberts, Loni Anderson, Jack Betts, Patricia Ward Kelly, Connie Stevens, Tricia Leigh Fisher, Joely Fisher and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell. Sinatra and Iturbi first met in 1945, while filming the MGM classic, “Anchors Aweigh”. They remained friends and occasionally performed together. Iturbi died in 1980.
“What a lovely way for the Jose’ Iturbi Foundation to remember Sinatra,” Roberts said. “I thought the voices were spectacular.”
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