ST. PETERSBURG — The legendary Tony Bennett will perform Thursday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m., at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts-Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S.
Tickets start at $70. Call 727-300-2000 or visit www.themahaffey.com.
The 19-time Grammy Award-winning musician, whose career in entertainment spans more than six decades, is on the road for his “I Left My Heart Tour.”
With worldwide record sales in the millions, and dozens of platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett is a musician who touches the hearts and souls of audiences with his legendary vocals and charming stage presence. His long list of achievements, spanning over 60 years, includes 19 Grammy Awards, including the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, making this artist a true international treasure. 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. Often billed as the world’s most boyish octogenarian, Bennett is a vital musical artist at the peak of his powers.
Antonia Bennett, Tony Bennett’s daughter, has been touring with her father and will open the performance with a collection of jazz and pop standards. Antonia Bennett is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music.
At the age of 93, Bennett is not slowing down. In 2018, he released “Love Is Here to Stay,” his latest recording. A collaboration with long-time friend and musical colleague Diana Krall, the album topped the jazz charts upon its debut and was nominated for a Grammy Award. The album celebrates the music of the Gershwins and includes the jazz standard “Fascinating Rhythm” which Bennett and Krall perform as a duet. The inclusion of the song on the new album was the impetus for a Guinness World Record title for Bennett, who in 1949, under his stage name of Joe Bari at the time, made his very first recording of the Gershwin standard.
In 2017, the Library of Congress presented Bennett with the Gershwin Prize, marking the first time that an interpretive singer has been honored. The event was broadcast on PBS nationally and featured tribute performances by Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Gloria Estefan, and many others. His signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” was inducted this year into the National Recordings Registry.
Bennett’s sixth book, “Tony Bennett: On Stage and in the Studio,” was recently published and provides an insightful look into his illustrious recording career highlighted by an extensive array of photographs, memorabilia, and artwork.
“Life Is a Gift,” Bennett’s fourth book, was released in 2012 and entered the New York Times Best Seller list. In 2014, Bennett released “Cheek to Cheek,” a collaborative album with Lady Gaga. The album, featuring these two legendary artists performing jazz standards, 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. The album also won the Grammy Award in the Best Traditional Pop Album category.
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.
Having celebrated his 90th birthday in August of 2016, the performer marked the milestone with the presentation of “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best is Yet to Come,” a two-hour prime time special that aired in December. A companion CD of the same name was released simultaneously.
Fall 2016 saw the release of “Just Getting Started,” Bennett’s fifth book, which he co-authored with journalist Scott Simon.
Bennett is also a talented painter. He has exhibited his work in galleries around the world, and three of his original paintings are part of the permanent collection in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Throughout his career, Bennett has put his heart and time into supporting humanitarian concerns and joined with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the historic Selma march in 1965. His many charitable works include raising millions toward diabetes, and lending his artwork to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. In 2007, he was honored by the United Nations. Together with his wife Susan, Bennett established the charitable organization Exploring the Arts to support arts education in public high schools. Bennett founded Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a New York City public high school in his hometown of Astoria, Queens, and ETA now supports 37 public high schools throughout New York City and Los Angeles.