Tony Bennett Left His Heart in St. Pete

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By Cindy Cockburn

Tony Bennett can’t wait to come back to our city.  Get ready St. Pete. The 19-time Grammy award-winning singer, whose music spans over six decades, will grace the stage on February 9 at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts, Mahaffey Theater.

He’s been performing in Florida since he first got started in the 1950’s.

 “So much has changed since then, but it remains a beautiful and welcoming place and I love coming back each year,”  said the legendary singer.

Last year, he thrilled all of us who sat in awe and listened to this superstar on stage. It may be surprising to  learn he’s also a talented painter and has exhibited his work in galleries around the world. Three of his original paintings are part of the permanent collection in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.  “ I always try to paint while I am in Florida and have done many sketches and watercolors of the State and look forward to getting some drawings done of St. Petersburg when I am there – as well as getting some sunshine, too!” he said recently through his publicist.

With record sales in the millions, and dozens of platinum and gold albums to his credit, Tony Bennett touches the hearts and souls of audiences around the world.  His long list of achievements  includes  the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. His signature tunes, such as “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” form part of the fabric of American music culture.  

Bennett’s daughter, Antonia Bennett,  has been touring with her father and will open the performance in St. Pete with a collection of jazz/pop standards.  Antonia  is a graduate of the prestigious Berkley College of Music. Last year, she thrilled the audience.

In 2014, Tony Bennett released a collaborative album with Lady Gaga, “Cheek to Cheek,” featuring these two legendary artists performing jazz standards. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album charts making Bennett the oldest musical artist, at the age of 88, to have an album top the Billboard 200 and won the Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Pop Album category.

Tony Bennett is a Kennedy Center Honoree, an NEA Jazz Master and a recipient of the United Nation’s Humanitarian and Citizen of the World honors.  Celebrating his 90th birthday in August of 2016,   Bennett released his fifth book last fall,  “Just Getting Started.”

AN EVENING WITH TONY BENNETT
8 pm February 9

Mahaffey Theater
400 First Street SE
St. Petersburg
Ticket prices: $69, $89, $119, $155

Tickets may be purchased online at TheMahaffey.com, charged by phone at (727) 893-7832, or in person at the Mahaffey Theater Box Office. Enjoy a pre-show dinner buffet with complimentary parking and access to VIP Lounge following the show with champagne toast for $100, plus tax.