The legendary singer and his family have been keeping his secret for four years. Now they are breaking their silence

The legendary singer and his family have been keeping his secret for four years. Now they are breaking their silence

One afternoon in early November, I came to see Tony Bennett’s 15 The window wall of the sprawling three-bedroom apartment opens up to a breathtaking view of the park and floods the rooms with a steady northern light – “a painter’s dream,” as Bennett once said – which is important is because it’s not just one of them as the greatest singer in the world he’s also a serious visual artist for the past quarter century has spent countless hours in this sanctuary, a converted art studio that I was brought to by his wife, Susan, which was clearly the room of a working artist: the walls covered with sketches, a messy table with brushes and curled tubes of paint, an easel by the window with a work in progress – a black and white drawing of the park, the distant buildings expertly created with impressionist scraps of charcoal

Bennett himself sat at a desk against a wall, turning his chair to the windows while slowly leafing through a coffee table book open on his lap, with a blue blazer over an open collar shirt, dark pants and white running shoes 94 years old surprisingly young and immediately recognizable: the blue eyes with the heavy lids, the iconic Roman nose, the coiffed salt-and-pepper hair.However, the easy, omnipresent smile that helped him brand the nice singing idol of his generation was missing – more accessible than the fleeting Sinatra or the jokingly “drunk” Dean Martin Instead, his facial expression had a mask-like insensitivity that only slightly turned into a faint consciousness when Susan, a slim 54-year-old with a fine facial expression, put a hand on his shoulder , leaned over and said, “This is John, Tone He has come to talk to us about the new album She spoke in his ear, perhaps a little loudly, in a provocative, emphatic register, as if trying to reach her husband through a barrier that had fallen between him and the rest of the world

Tony Bennett has Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of age-related dementia Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a progressive memory loss that robs those affected of many of the gifts we all take for granted – language, understanding, precious memories, appreciation of loved ones – and makes them totally dependent on caregivers Bennett, who was first diagnosed in 2016, has so far been spared the disorientation that can lead patients to wander away from home, as well as the episodes of terror, anger, or depression that accompany the terrifying detachment from Alzheimer’s can be accompanied by reality and indeed he could never develop these symptoms.However, there was little doubt that the disease was advanced.Even his increasingly infrequent moments of clarity and awareness reveal the depths of his weakness. At one point, when Susan and I were talking, he suddenly looked away the book in his lap and asked me in his low, accused whisper: “How’s the weather outside?” If I hadn’t known that he and Susan had just returned from a walk with their dog in the park, I might not have suspected that something was wrong

Such short-term memory loss is a hallmark of the secret Alzheimer’s disease outbreak, but long-term memories are also increasingly disappearing – reflecting the fact that the picture book that caught his attention, Tony Bennett Onstage and in the Studio (2018), a richly illustrated volume that included photos from every stage of his life from childhood, not staring at his pages with the air of warm memories, but like a man who had a hard time remembering why those pictures looked familiar to him, even though he did Still able to recognize family members, Susan says he’s not always sure where he is or what’s going on around him Mundane items, as familiar as a fork or set of house keys, can be extremely mysterious to him

Ten minutes after my visit, Tony’s eldest son Danny came to our studio. “Hey, Pop,” he said Tony looked up with a slight smile and a nod, before silently returning to his picture book Danny, a sociable 66 year old in black jeans and a Nehru-style jacket, has been his father’s manager for 40 years and was instrumental in the rebirth of his mid-1990s career that made Tony (then in his late 60s) an unlikely part of MTV – and the 1994 one culminated in a Best Grammy Album for Tony Bennett: MTV Unplugged, Since then, Danny has mastered a steady stream of unforgettable duet recordings with Tony and John Mayer, K, D. Lang, James Taylor, Sting, the late Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga, who has become a dedicated protégé. Their first electrifying duet (“The Lady Is a Tramp” in 2011) proved to be a life-changing moment for Gaga when the 20th year old glam rock / techno pop star under Tony’s tutelage realized that she (like) he was) also a jazz singer – someone who can ripple a melody and easily improvise harmonic detours of breathtaking beauty “The fact that Tony considered me Seeing a natural born jazz singer is still something I haven’t gotten over, “Gaga said recently,

In 2014, Lady Gaga and Tony recorded Cheek to Cheek, a standards-based album that debuted at # 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Pop and Rock charts – an intergenerational hit that just couldn’t be ignored soon a follow-up discussed The songs were recorded in widely spaced sessions between 2018 and early 2020 after a series of delays due to Gaga’s burgeoning film star (in A Star Is Born) and solo career (including the release of her most recent LPs Joanne and Chromatica) – not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic – the collaboration is finally being prepared for release this spring

Tony was already showing clear signs of the disease, Susan said when he and Gaga began recording the new LP at New York’s Electric Lady Studios two years after his diagnosis. In fact, Susan wasn’t entirely sure if Tony was the one The task was up to “We’ll try”, she recalled Danny. “That’s all I can tell you. We’ll try”

Before his illness, Tony was known as a meticulous and tenacious perfectionist in the studio.The 2012 documentary The Zen of Bennett (shot three years before symptoms appeared) includes an electrifying moment in which Tony working on a to calm nervous Amy Winehouse during her duet on “Body and Soul”, addressed to producer Phil Ramone, who dared to intervene on the studio microphone: “No – stay out! Let her and me find out. In another sequence, he picks up his music arranger pianist Lee Musik because he’s using too fast a tempo on “The Way You Look Tonight,” which they rehearse for a duet with Faith Hill, “It Can’t Be disposable, “says Tony,” I want to do a final version of this song! ”

But Tony was much more subdued during the recording of the new album with Gaga. In raw documentaries of the sessions, he rarely speaks, and when he does his words stop; at times he seems lost and confused Gaga, clearly aware of his condition, keeps her comments short and simple (as recommended by experts in the disease when speaking to Alzheimer’s patients) “You sound so good, Tony”, she tells him once. “Thank you” is his one-word answer. She says that she thinks “all the time” about her 2015 tour. Tony looks at her wordlessly “Doesn’t have fun every night made?” she prompts him, “Yes,” he says uncertainly. The pain and sadness on Gaga’s face are evident in moments like this – but never more than in an extraordinarily moving sequence in which Tony (a man she’s “an incredible mentor, a Girlfriend and a father figure ”) sings a solo passage from a love song Gaga watches from behind her microphone, her smile breaking into a quiver, her eyes full before she puts her hands over her face and sobs

The new LP features luscious, beautiful duets with both singers in excellent voices. But there is one duty related to the recording that Tony obviously cannot do: commercial interviews (When I asked him, “Are you looking forward to the new record with Gaga? “he stared at me in silence) This has put those in charge of Tony’s life and career – mainly Danny and Susan – into a dilemma. Eager to hear as many ears as possible and enjoy what is arguably the final recording of Could be Tony Bennett, they have together decided to break the silence around his condition, a decision they have necessarily had to make without Tony’s input since he was, Susan said, unable to understand the disease, let alone make important decisions about it decide whether to make it public

It is not easy for any family to break the silence about a loved one being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease Like cancer and mental illness, Alzheimer’s disease carries a stigma as people experience a particular horror of an incurable disease that makes its sufferers ruthless from the places, events, and people that have anchored it in life, many are treating it as an immediate death sentence and withdrawing from the world, encouraged by family members who fear the disease and its unpredictable and sometimes socially embarrassing course, researchers have recently warned about the negative effects triggered by such stigma Gill Livingston, MD., a psychiatrist specializing in dementia at University College London, said the silence around Alzheimer’s only creates misunderstandings and stereotypes about the disease, creating a vicious circle that leads to further stigma and fear of “panic and hiding.” is really not helpful, “she said.” We want people to be as open as possible, open to themselves and their families, so that they can be supported in the things they cannot do and that they can be helped in a relative way Living a Full Life Support Makes a Big Difference “A recent effort to raise awareness about the disease may have backfired to some extent, as people only hear the terrifying message that the disease is incurable and progressive – not that those affected, who receive loving support and timely medical care, maintain a good old can quality of life and wellbeing for years

“At 94 he does so many things that many people without dementia cannot do it. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder”

It is becoming increasingly important that the more hopeful message is heard. Over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. That number, doctors say, is likely to reach epidemic proportions as younger boomers (born between 1954 and 1964) enter their late 60s and 60s All of this means that it will soon be as impossible for society to keep silent about Alzheimer’s as it is now for Tony Bennett’s family, and his story of Alzheimer’s is inspiring like the rest of his long life that he was such a good one Has preserved quality of life is a testament to the support he receives from his family, medical team, and friends – and bestows what Lady Gaga said to Danny when he first informed her they were thinking of the Breaking silence, credibility Tony’s illness “I wanted to check with her to make sure she was cool,” Danny said, “because she’s got the whole Time to watch his back She said: “Absolutely, it’s just another gift he can give the world” “

Born in Queens, New York in 1926, Anthony Dominick Benedetto is the grandson of immigrants from the impoverished Italian province of Calabria. His father, a grocer, died of heart disease when Bennett was only 10 years old Bennett’s widowed mother left the family of four for a seamstress’s salary. Despite earning a place in a high school for emerging artists on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Bennett quit at 16 to support the family He worked as a copyboy and later as a singing waiter and band singer. In 1944 he was 18 years old, was drafted into the army and shipped to Europe for the terrible final months of World War II

At the front in Germany he dodged bombs and splinters, dug foxholes in frozen ground and watched friends – fellow youths – die. Shortly before VE Day, he helped liberate a concentration camp in Landsberg near Dachau. This experience paired With the racial prejudice he faced from other American soldiers (because of his Italian heritage and friendship with black soldiers), he cemented his ideas about the evils of prejudice years later, he was one of the few white entertainers to meet Martin Luther King JrMarch for Equality in Selma, Alabama

He sailed for New York in August 1946, the month he turned 20.As part of the occupying power in Germany, he had entertained his fellow soldiers, sang with an experienced big band and polished his chops.But at home he missed headlining- Jobs Under the stage name “Joe Bari” he gave unpaid appearances in small clubs, fell in love with the new bebop sound and began to imitate Charlie Parker’s saxophone and Art Tatum’s piano with his voice. He also used the GI bill to study bel canto, the breathing and articulation techniques with which opera singers achieve roof-lifting vocal crescendos without effort

He eventually landed an engagement at upscale Shangri-La in Astoria, which resulted in guest appearances on the radio.But his life-changing hiatus came when Pearl Bailey, the popular singer and actress, got him to join her at a club in Greenwich Village , The Village Inn, Bob Hope came over to grab a set and invited him to sing at his upcoming New York shows Hope had a demand: the name Joe Bari was utterly elegant and stylish for a singer wrong On site Hope edited a few syllables from the singer’s maiden name – and renamed him Tony Bennett

Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet – high in olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and fish – is beneficial for preventing Alzheimer’s and mitigating its effects, Susan, as Tony’s primary caregiver, kept him on the diet Also oversees his three day exercise program, being aware that improved blood circulation is supposed to slow the progression of memory loss a few minutes before 4 p.m. on the day I visited, Tony’s trainer, an open-minded young man named David, was leading the singer through a series of exercises that would have challenged someone three decades younger.You started with upper body exercises, Tony pulled on thick rubber bands and then moved on to aerobics work: Tony jogged up and down the hallways Then on to work on the lower body: A – and stepping out of a six inch tall box plus six sets of squats. Though he didn’t speak, Tony responded to Dav id’s instructions and when he gasped for air in his chair, he suddenly grabbed Susan’s hand. She clutched it. “Feels good working out, doesn’t it, honey?” She said

Susan’s devotion to Tony is impressive – and it goes back to before she even met him. Born in San Francisco in 1966, she was an unlikely fan of his music.When every other kid heard Elton John or the Stones, Susan called local radio stations to request Tony’s songs, asked her parents to take her to his concerts and ended up running the local chapter of his fan club. She honestly came to her fascination as her mother Marion was also a longtime fan – in fact one of the original “Tonymaniacs” , the army of teenage Bobby-Soxers that fueled Tony’s first taste of fame in the early 1950s Marion was 14 years old in 1950 when Tony, fresh from the performance triumph with Bob Hope, signed a recording deal with Columbia Records a year later his first hit, “Because of you”, a velvety ballad that spent 10 weeks at number one and drew so many screaming fans to his concerts that di e Police barricaded the venues

For the next 10 years, Bennett scored hit after hit, including “Cold, Cold Heart” and “Rags to Riches”. In 1955, he released a challenging jazz album, Cloud 7, which featured a combination of drums, bass, piano, muted electric guitar, saxophone, and trumpet was supported that same year, Bennett hired his sister Mary as a manager, which turned out to be typical of a man whose true north was always family until the demands of motherhood forced her to retire a decade later , helped Mary advance her brother’s career, including releasing his signature tune and one of his best-selling singles in 1962, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”

With that, Bennett had reached the stratosphere of international fame.But then came the British invasion.Overnight, Tony’s singing style, song choices, haircut, clothing – indeed his entire generation (he was 38 in 1964) – became obsolete Worse: uncool Worse: In the meantime, his first marriage to a Cleveland beauty named Patricia Beech was in ruins. They had married at the height of Tonymania, had two children in quick succession (Danny 1954 and his brother Daegal – a Scandinavian Name Patricia liked – the following year) but his constant tour had a wedge between her and then his driven career slide expanded it. They separated in 1965 and later divorced
The evil Juju kept coming back Columbia Records demanded that any act make rock music Tony turned them down – but in 1970 he capitulated and released Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today, the first time he heard the record he literally vomited refused to record a follow-up and left Columbia in 1971.Within a few years he had founded his own label Improv and released two highly regarded jazz albums in 1975 and 1977 with the tortured piano genius Bill Evans. Unfortunately, the records did not sell

Bennett had since married aspiring actress Sandra Grant. Their daughters Joanna and Antonia were born in 1969 and 1974, and the family moved to Los Angeles, where Tony adopted the celebrity lifestyle of endless parties and cocaine that “flowed as free as champagne” (as he put it in his 2007 autobiography) The Good Life) In 1977, Improv folded and left Tony saddled with his debt. His beloved mother died (“I was so overwhelmed with grief that I actually wondered if I might be losing my mind”), and the IRS, with who was behind Tony initiated proceedings to confiscate his Beverly Hills home. In the midst of this vortex, Tony passed out in a running bath, dazed by alcohol and drugs. Sandra pulled him out and resuscitated him, but the marriage was over : The couple divorced Bennett had hit rock bottom But he also knew the only way out: family

In 1979 his sons Danny and Dae, then 25 and respectively 24, who worked as a touring rock musician for a decade, Danny said, “And of course we grew up in the business. I always had an eye for contracts and legal matters, and Dae, who went into production, had great instincts that Tony called both sons to Los.” Angeles, where he collapsed and confessed, “I am lost. He had no idea how to dig himself out financially or pursue his dead career. Danny, who signed up as Tony’s manager, drew up a three-year payment plan with the IRS, cut Tony’s expenses, and brought in.” him back to New York City then they focused on the music

Danny believed that people his age and younger only need to listen to his father’s music to fall in love with them He first established the name and facial recognition for Tony by persuading SCTV, a Canadian comedy show popular with college kids, to win Tony an episode he got a Tony Bennett story on The Simpsons and booked him on Letterman Er also cut down Tony’s Vegas shows – too shocking – and arranged hipper gigs at New York’s Bottom Line and Village Vanguard, as well as a show at Carnegie Hall

Columbia Records wanted Tony back, and Danny took advantage of that leverage to oversee a hugely beneficial recording contract for his father. In 1986, Tony released his first Columbia record in 14 years: The Art of Excellence, at a time when Huey Lewis was reassuring children that it was “hip to be square,” Tony Bennett, coiffed and suitably cool again MTV gave him a spot on its music awards show with members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers But when MTV programmers got excited about Tony’s rock music of the young people singing, Danny let them know his client’s ironic request: Duets are fine, but the kids are singing Tony’s music! MTV received the message When Elvis Costello and KD. Lang joined Tony to record his MTV Unplugged session in April 1994 They sang with him on Great American Songbook Songs The Resulting Album Tony Bennett: MTV Unplugged Became One of the Best-Selling of His Career “Tony Bennett not only bridged the generation gap,” wrote the New York Times, “he did it tore off”Tony used the Unplugged Windfall for” a luxury, “he later wrote: a” beautiful apartment in Central Park South “- the apartment I visited him in last fall. When he moved in, Susan was with him

The two fell in love in 1985 when Susan, then 19, used her fan club credentials to get backstage at a show. At 58, Tony was nearly 40 years older than her, but Susan was by all reports already a person of unusual self-possession and sobriety that is perfectly clear when she alludes to Tony’s breakdown in drugs in the late 1970s “That was before me,” she said, “because I would never have tolerated it”

They settled into a life together in New York, where he pursued his two passions, painting and singing She finished her education and became a social science teacher. Together, they founded Exploring the Arts, a charity that raises money for public schools, and founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Tony’s home district of Queens in 2001, Tony and Susan married in New York City Hall in 2007 then almost 81-year-old Tony still played over a hundred dates a year and asked his new bride to join him on the street. “I was fine. Turn my arm! “Susan recalled,” It’s a great life. That blessed existence lasted until a day in 2015 when Tony complained to Susan that he couldn’t remember the names of the musicians on stage. “So we gave him a list worried that he put on the piano, “said Susan,” but he wasn’t happy about it. However, she wasn’t worried. She thought it was normal aging. After all, he had recently turned 90. But Tony obviously knew something was wrong with him wanted to see a doctor

One of the cruellest aspects of dementia is the stigma that surrounds it, says Sarah Lock, senior vice president of policy and brain health at AARP. Feelings of shame or hopelessness can lead people to resist diagnosis or refuse treatment, even though it is currently There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, “there is a lot that people can do to delay symptoms and improve their quality of life,” explains Lock. “If people only knew about them, we could significantly reduce treatment costs and save lives”

According to the Global Council on Brain Health, these six key behaviors can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and make it easier for the disease to progress:

A healthy lifestyle alone does not solve the challenges dementia poses to patients and their families AARP provides an online resource center (aarporg / careiving) for those who care for vulnerable relatives. In collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, AARP has the Community Resource Finder (communityresourcefinder) created (org) with links to programs, events, medical services, and other types of support for people with dementia and their carers

Gayatri Devi, MD.Tony, a neurologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, diagnosed Tony in 2016. She has studied the disease for 25 years and is the author of The Spectrum of Hope, which describes Alzheimer’s disease as a “spectrum disorder” that varies from person to person Person is very different The quality of life, the progression of the disease and the length of life of an affected person depend first on what kind of brain they bring into the situation “And Tony Bennett,” she told me, “brought an amazingly versatile brain with him.” He’s got some “cognitive problems, but many other areas of his brain are still resilient and working well,” she said. “At 94 he’s doing so many things that many people without dementia can’t. He really is the symbol of hope for someone with a cognitive disorder “

In addition to taking standard Alzheimer’s drugs (cholinesterase inhibitors, which regulate the levels of chemical messengers in the brain for normal memory function) and dieting and exercising, Devi said that Tony’s continued high level of functioning and well-being was due to his strong family Support – and especially that of his main supervisor Susan “I’m humble with the devotion,” Devi told me. “She expects a lot from him too. I think her background as a teacher helps, but she’s also very much in love with him. And he meets her expectations,” she quoted Moments when Tony is recognized by a fan in her clinic waiting room “Susan will say, ‘Tony B! A fan of yours says hello! “And then he turns to the person with his big blues, smiles and says,” How are you? “Or” Thank you! “The charisma and magnetism are activated” Such moments of connection and awareness are beneficial, Devi said, because they stimulate the brain”

Since the COVID lockdown last March, Susan has had to let her assistant go to minimize Tony’s potential exposure to the virus, which only increased his total minute-to-minute dependence on her the stress of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can Being acute Since Tony isn’t wandering around, Susan can leave him with someone else for an hour to run errands, but is otherwise in the apartment with him. “I’ve got my moments and it’s going to be very difficult,” she said. “It’s not fun arguing with someone who doesn’t understand you, “she said with a rueful laugh.” But I speak badly about it because we’re so much luckier than so many people with this diagnosis. We have such a good team Danny takes care of Tonys Business matters We have great doctors, David helps us with the exercise, and Tony himself stays content and happy. That’s how it has been since the diagnosis he took calmly, “But that’s there ran that he already didn’t understand, “said Susan.” He would ask me, “What is Alzheimer’s? “I would explain, but he wouldn’t get it. He said to me,” Susan, I’m fine “That’s all he could handle – physically he felt great So nothing has changed in his life Everything that has changed changed, he was not aware of “

One thing that hasn’t changed was Tony’s love of music and singing. Music’s special ability to reach even severely demented sufferers, bring back memories, and re-establish connections with others is well documented, but not good Understood The documentary Alive Inside (2014) features nursing home patients with severe dementia caused by immobility and silence when earphones and iPods were handed out to the favorite music of their youth.A patient, a silent 94-year-old man, begins to speak loudly about his childhood and can remember his forgotten daughter after listening to his beloved Cab Calloway, neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin, author of the bestselling books This Is Your Brain on Music and Successful Aging, points out that it’s the primary emotional appeal of music , which enables her to tap into memories that one of Alzheime r affected minds otherwise inaccessible Even severely affected patients can often remember the lyrics and melodies of songs they loved in their youth This is a time of high emotional and self-discovery when the developing brain “marks” memories as particularly salient and important. This would go a long way to explain the amazing fact that Tony Bennett continued to touring extensively after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and was 90 -minute set of sophisticated music sang with such care, precision and professionalism that audiences and critics never suspected its condition

Devi, his neurologist, strongly encouraged Danny and Susan to sing and perform Tony for as long as he could happily do so. “It kept him busy and also stimulated his brain in significant ways,” Devi told me both Susan and Danny also said that Tony could be completely confused about his whereabouts backstage. But the moment he heard the announcer’s voice boom, “Ladies and gentlemen – Tony Bennett!” he would morph into performance mode, step into the spotlight, smile and acknowledge the audience’s applause And start singing Even so, Susan spent every performance after the diagnosis losing a line, panicking, and confused on stage “I was a nervous bloody wreck,” she said, “Still he always delivered!”

And it did so until its last public performance on Nov. March 2020 at the Count Basie Center for Art in Red Bank, New Jersey After that, the COVID-19 pandemic forced all musical acts off the street. How therapeutically beneficial the performance had been for Tony soon became apparent as his world shrank to the confines of his apartment. “This was a real blow from a cognitive standpoint,” Devi said me “His memory was much better before the pandemic. And he is not alone. So many of my patients are negatively affected by isolation and the inability to do the things that are important to them. For someone like Tony Bennett, the big climax he went through was for someone like Tony Bennett.” Appearances achieved, very important “

So Devi advised Tony to keep rehearsing, and twice a week his longtime pianist Lee Musik, who lives just a three-minute walk away, comes into the apartment and walks with him through Tony’s 90-minute set. When I was visiting, musician came over and poked his head into the art studio I was sitting in with Susan, Danny and Tony. “Hello,” he said, “I’ll settle in. Susan led Tony from the studio into the adjoining living room, an oceanic room , which contained a black Bösendorfer grand piano At the other end of the room, under a huge picture window overlooking the park, was an arrangement of sofas and chairs under a large canvas by Tony’s friend, the well-known English artist David Hockney.This was a rehearsal , no performance, so Tony looked at his companion, his back to the nearby dining table where Susan, Danny, and I were sitting

Musicians put a set list on the piano in front of Tony, but they didn’t stick to it In fact, the first chord musician hit was a song that wasn’t on the list, and which Tony has done in recent years hadn’t sung much. But immediately, amazingly, he opened his mouth and rolled a stream of rich, resonant notes up and out from the lower part of his range The melancholy tone fit perfectly with the lyrics he produced with his famous clear articulation: “Maybe this time I’ll be happy “The song was” Maybe This Time “by John Kander and Fred Ebb, made famous by Liza Minelli in the 1972 film Cabaret, when Tony recorded it in a stunning performance that he now reproduced. The song became more intense than the lyrics and the aching melody rose to its high register three octaves from its start, increasing in volume and power until it filled the room with a crescendo scream: “It has to happen, someday – maybe I’ll win this time!” P>

2011: The Lady is a Tramp (with Lady Gaga) These two are having so much fun it is tangible – JC.

Even today, neurosciences cannot explain how a man whose speaking voice has become so hesitant – whose memory of events, people and places has largely disappeared – at the sound of a musical cue, his voice in songs with such beauty and beauty can elevate expression other than saying that, as Levitin pointed out, music and song emerge from areas of the brain that are markedly different from those associated with language and the strong emotions released by music can Connect the listeners to their deep emotional memories, even those that are inaccessible to consciousness

And so it went for the next hour to a wondrous concert that was literally a gift for an observer and a stroll through the past

“How about the Duke Ellington tune?” Said musician – and instantly Tony’s voice floated to the ceiling like notes of a beautiful muffled trumpet

“In my loneliness,” he sang, “haunt me / With terrible ease / From days gone by / In my solitude / You mock me / With memories / That never dies”

On “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” the first single he edited for Columbia in 1950, 23-year-old Tony had finished the song with a full belcanto window rattle – and amazingly he was now reproducing it: “… And dance along the Boulevaaaaaahd of brooooooken dreams! “On” Fly Me to the Moon “he raised his voice gently in the air, as he had done in his great 1965 recording, and in the fast-paced” The Lady’s in Love With You “he moved nimbly through the intricate lyrics as if scatting He stopped playing “Smile” (” even though your heart breaks “) with a drawn out” smiiiiiiiiiiile “that made Susan use a phrase Tony liked to say when nailing the final version of a song:” Right in there, “she said. Musician shook her head in amazement, looked at Tony and hit his heart with his fist

“Every time” said Tony – his first spontaneous verbal reaction of the afternoon. During the rehearsal, he exchanged increasingly short conversations with musicians. At the end of a rousing “When you smile”, musicians jokingly played on their audience of three people than 3 million “Actually,” he added, “Have you said to people, if only one person – do you remember saying that years ago?”

Later, when I was talking to musicians about what makes Tony so special, he said, “Proper vocal training and the innate sense of a musician, not the innate sense of a singer. Like an instrumentalist, he hears everything Honesty and love ”

The often miraculous way in which music can reconnect dementia sufferers with family and friends, memory and past is unfortunately only temporary clarity, memory, conversation can last a few minutes but for those who are looking for the old connection longing who desperately miss the spark of animation in a loved one, even these brief glimpses of the person they knew, these fleeting connections come like a blessing To Susan, the obvious joy Tony has in singing is a precious gift ” I wish he’d kept his picture, but that didn’t work out as well as the singing The coal landscape on his easel, she said, was a rarity But not the singing Not yet “Singing is everything to him,” Susan told me when I grabbed to go “Everything It has saved his life many times Many times Through divorces and things If he ever stops singing, be.” we know it «With her voice she stopped

Actor Sean Connery had died of dementia two days earlier at the age of 90. Connery’s widow said that he had been unable to communicate in his final months but that luckily he had slipped away quietly in his sleep, “Me hope with Tony “, Susan told me” Hopefully he’ll just go to sleep one night and that will be it I hope and pray that he won’t turn out for bad, which is really crazyShe fell silent for a moment Then she smiled “There is a lot about him that I miss, “she said,” because he’s not old Tony anymore. Her voice caught again and she looked down. Then she controlled herself, looked up at me and smiled. “But when he sings, that’s him old Tony “

Dementia Discovery Fund: AARP contributed $ 60 million to this venture capital fund for research and development of innovative treatments

Global Council on Brain Health: A council of researchers and policy experts meets regularly to discuss the latest brain health findings and translate them into simple actions the public can take to stay sharp The council was founded in 2015 by AARP and Age UK founded

Alliance to Improve Dementia Care: AARP is a founding member of this coalition, which was convened by the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging. The alliance announced last year seeks to build consensus to improve health and long-term care systems for people with dementia

Alzheimer Disease Data Initiative: As a member of this Bill Gates coalition of research and advocacy groups, AARP aims to connect researchers with the data they need to develop new therapies and diagnostic tools for dementia

UsAgainstAlzheimer’s: Last summer, AARP joined this group of more than 80 health and advocacy organizations to urge the federal government to take action to prevent dementia.The aim is to undertake national efforts similar to efforts to reduce heart disease / p>
Journalist John Colapinto is longtime writer of The New Yorker and Rolling Stone and author of the best-selling non-fiction book As Nature Made Him, his book on the human voice, This Is the Voice, was published in January

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Tony Bennett

World News – USA – Tony Bennett’s fight against Alzheimer’s disease