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Tony Bennett’s 90th birthday feted at Ravinia concert

Singer Tony Bennett reacts to a birthday cake presented on stage at Ravinia on Saturday night. | Photo by Miriam Di Nunzio

Tony Bennett may have turned 90 on August 3, but Chicago officially celebrated the milestone ten days later on a warm summer night at Ravinia, where the legendary singer was presented with a 100-pound cake.

The massive cake was wheeled out to a standing ovation from the thousands of fans who packed the Highland Park venue Saturday night for a concert by Bennett, who has returned to Ravinia nearly every summer for four decades.

“I just adore Chicago,” Bennett beamed.

The singer had just capped a 75-minute concert backed by his powerhouse quartet — Howard Jones on drums, Michael Renzi on piano, Gray Sargent on guitar and Marshall Wood on bass— spanning his 60-year career with a nod to the music of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mandel, Jerome Kern and more.

The set list was peppered with haunting ballads (“The Shadow of Your Smile,” “In My Solitude”), upbeat sizzlers (“Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” “Sing You Sinners,” and fan favorites (“I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “Chicago”). In the end, a crowd-fueled “Happy Birthday” filled the venue, but Bennett had already given the crowd the best gift of all.

Tony Bennett performs in concert at Ravinia on Saturday, August 13, 2016. | Russell Jenkins/Ravinia
Tony Bennett performs in concert at Ravinia on Saturday, August 13, 2016. | Russell Jenkins/Ravinia
Russell Jenkins/Ravinia