Lady Gaga and veteran singer Tony Bennett surprised students at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York City on their final day of classes yesterday (June 16) with a short performance and masterclass, Billboard reports.
Bennett has traditionally attended annual graduation ceremonies at the school since opening it in 2001. This year he is unable to attend due to touring commitments so invited Lady Gaga to join him at the surprise visit instead.
The pair discussed jazz music, The Great American Songbook, creativity and more in a discussion with NBC presenter Lester Holt, who acted as moderator. The 700 students in the audience were also given the opportunity to ask questions during the session.
Gaga and Bennett then performed a handful of songs with Bennett singing ‘The Very Thought Of You’, previously covered by Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole, and Gaga tackling Cole Porter’s ‘Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye’. You can watch a clip of Gaga’s performance at the bottom of the page. The pair then duetted on classic standard ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’, reportedly slow dancing cheek-to-cheek.
Of Gaga, Bennett told the students: “When I first heard [her] sing, my reaction was that she is going to be bigger than Elvis. She is so bright and intelligent and she has it. In jazz you either got it, the syncopation, the rhythm or you don’t, and when I heard Gaga I said, ‘She’s got it!'”
The two have previously collaborated on Bennett’s ‘Duets II’ album and performed together at the Robin Hood Foundation benefit gala in 2011. They are currently working on a jazz album together, Cheek To Cheek, which is slated for release later in the year.