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Elton John

Barry Manilow bringing smiles to Hard Rock Live

Barry Manilow bringing smiles to Hard Rock Live

Barry Manilow wasn’t one of the cool kids when he arrived at Eastern District High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the late 1950s. But he went from outsider to insider once he sat down at the keyboard.

“When they learned I could play the piano, suddenly I was in great demand. I became a popular geek,” Manilow says, laughing.

In a conversation early last week, in advance of a Wednesday, Feb. 21, concert at Hard Rock Live, the pop-music icon mused on the transformative potential of arts education and its critical role as an outlet of expression for students such as himself. He also vented his frustration over funding cuts that he believes disproportionately target school...

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