Frank Sinatra would have turned 100 years old Saturday, and USC’s School of Music is celebrating with a tribute concert.
The event will be at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Recital Hall at 813 Assembly St.
Sinatra’s six-decade career was filled with tabloid headlines, but what you may not know is that he was considered by many to be a serious jazz musician who influenced the way music is performed today.
In his book, “Jazz Journey, a Guide to Listening,” USC School of Music instructor John Valerio said Sinatra pioneered a number of techniques that changed the listening experience for the audience. One was his use of the microphone.
“By moving the microphone closer or farther away from his mouth, Sinatra used it as a medium through which he sang rather than into which he sang,” said Valerio. Sinatra also stressed consonant sounds rather than vowel sounds in words and tweaked the phrasing and pacing of songs. Together, these techniques allowed him to get to the heart of a lyric, extract its meaning and share it with the audience.
“For much of the first half of the 20th century, jazz and pop were related through shared repertoire and performance styles, and Sinatra is arguably the best interpreter of the Great American Songbook,” said Valerio. “For that alone he is important to jazz. But he is more than that; he was an outstanding jazz singer in the truest sense of the word whose influence still resonates in the 21st century.”
Tickets are $10 ($5 for students); musicians include John Valerio, piano, with Bryson Borgstedt, saxophone; George Hoar, bass and Tim Blackwell, drums.
For more information, visit sc.edu/music.
Katie McElveen, Special to The State