(Kalamazoo, Michigan) Natalie asked: “What do you want to do for your birthday (on May 7th)?” We had just received a glossy brochure from the 2016 Gilmore Keyboard Festival, so I flipped through it, saying: “Maybe there’s something on my birthday.” BINGO!!!! Tony Bennett was slated to appear at Chenery Auditorium on May 7, 2016 at 8 p.m. Yes, DownBeat‘s Top Male Vocalist of 2015 was going to serenade me on my birthday in 2016. “So,” Natalie asked, “should we get tickets?” Oh, yes. And indeed we did, and there we were last night in the balcony soaking up an absolutely amazing performance by a living legend who still has the pipes at 89. I told Natalie how my good friend Gordon Seelos and I had met Tony Bennett on the shore of Lake Tahoe back in the early ’70s when we were footloose and fancy free and Tony Bennett was booked at a venue on the Nevada side that night. As we strolled along the beach, Gordon elbowed me and said, “Hey, that’s Tony Bennett out sunning himself. Act cool.” But we didn’t have to act cool, because Tony called to us, saying: “Hey, fellas, come on over and say hello.” Oh, yeah, we said hello to Tony Bennett who was at the top of his career then and has been even higher ever since. And so there we were Saturday night watching misty-eyed as this amazing American living treasure performed on my birthday. How sweet it is!