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Stepping Out

Tribute to an American Icon

Hofstra's birthday bash for Frank Sinatra

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The Chairman of the Board. Ol’ Blue Eyes. Whatever you call him, Frank Sinatra holds a special place in American culture. And now, in this centennial year of his birth, it’s Hofstra University’s turn to weigh on the legacy of the man and his music.
A century after he was born, Frank Sinatra still looms large in the American imagination and in our popular culture. Hofstra celebrate his 100th birthday and his extraordinary life and career with a series of lectures and master classes, featuring special guests, along with musical interludes by Hofstra students performing the best of The Great American Song Book.
Hofstra’s Cultural Center and Departments of History and Music have teamed up for this unique multi-day celebration, which began this week and continues through Nov. 22. This centenary tribute examines Sinatra’s impact on all areas of entertainment and the cultural forces he influenced and which influenced him. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of an artist, entertainment icon, and legendary symbol of popular
culture.
Exactly 17 years ago, Hofstra made history with a three-day conference honoring the “Chairman of the Board,” who had passed away earlier in 1998. Many famous personalities converged on campus, including Quincy Jones, Tina Sinatra, Vic Damone and Alan King at that time. This current program revisits “the man, the music, the legend,” whose presence continues to loom large in the American imagination and popular culture.
Gay Talese, Pete Hamill, bassist Jerry Bruno, radio personality Mark Simone, entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon, renowned musical director-arranger-pianist Ted Firth, Grammy-nominated vocalist Jane Monheit, biographer James Kaplan (“Sinatra, The Chairman”), and music critic and author Will Friedwald, are among the notable participants who lend their commentary, insight and talents to the proceedings.

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