Nat King Cole broke the pop barrier with his smoky, smooth vocals, stringing along a huge number of solid hits right after his first “Straighten Up And Fly Right” soared up the charts in 1943. As a singer, he was called “the best friend a song ever had,” but he was essentially a jazz performer at heart.

On Thursday, March 19, 2015 at 7:30 p.m., jazz greats RAMSEY LEWIS (piano) and JOHN PIZZARELLI (guitar, vocals) will pay homage with “STRAIGHTEN UP & FLY RIGHT: A TRIBUTE TO NAT KING COLE.”

“Pizzarelli remains a master of Nat King Cole cool, swinging such standards as ‘Just In Time’…” (The Seattle Times)

“It’s a mark of how much Lewis understands what people want from a piece of music that he remains one of jazz’s most broadly popular figures.” (BBC)

Lewis and Pizzarelli have crafted a tribute to the titan of ‘50s vocal pop, from his numerous hits – “Route 66,” “Paper Moon,” “Unforgettable,” “Sunny Side of the Street,” just to name a few – along with those singular tracks of sophisticated cool jazz that have influenced their own careers.

Pre-show lecture led by Cal Poly music professor Paul Rinzler, 6:30 p.m. in the PAC Pavilion.

Student and adult tickets for the performance range from $30.40 to $58 and may be purchased in advance at the Cal Poly Ticket Office, Monday – Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., located on Grand Avenue on the Cal Poly campus.

TICKETS: 805/756-4TIX (4849) or order online at www.calpolyarts.org.

Sponsored by John & Marcia Lindvall, Frame Works

For more information on all Cal Poly Arts events, including audio and video samples, please visit www.calpolyarts.org.