Aretha Franklin Makes Surprise Appearance At Holiday Concert
Aretha Franklin gave fans in New York an early Christmas treat on Thursday by making a surprise appearance during the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s annual holiday concert. The Big Band Holidays gig marked the orchestra’s first show at their newly-renovated Rose Theater home and Franklin made the event one to remember by walking out onstage to a standing ovation after being introduced by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
“Wynton, I think maybe I’ll change the program just a little bit,” the soul icon joked as she made her grand entrance. Franklin then performed a short set, kicking off with Christmas carol “O Tanenbaum,” followed by a gospel-version of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s “My Cup Runneth Over.” She dedicated the performance to late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who helped to boost her career by signing her to the label in 1967. The late music mogul and his wife had been honored with the opening of the new Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Atrium at Jazz at Lincoln Center shortly before the show.