Valentinetti highlights Christmas at King Center


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Sal Valentinetti, who appeared in Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent,” will perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 11 at the King Center in Melbourne.

Courtesy photo

Sal Valentinetti didn’t realize he had singing talent until it was pointed out to him as a teenager. A baritone player at the time, when young Sal crooned “Mack the Knife” his instructor realized that he had the makings of a singing prodigy.

Valentinetti credits his grandmother with instilling in him his love of big band music and the classics.

“My grandmother especially loved Frank Sinatra, Vic Damone and Jerry Vale,’’ Valentinetti said. “I would go to her house after preschool and we’d listen to the radio. We would dance and she would sing along. I hold those memories dear, especially since she’s since passed away. The smell of her perfume and the sound of the music echoing through the house. I fell in love with the style and the class and everything about it.”

Valentinetti’s singing career, however, didn’t launch until a couple of years ago when he appeared on Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent.” He placed fifth overall in the singing competition.

“I hadn’t performed for more than a couple of minutes until December 2016 when I sold out my first show at New York’s Paramount Theater on Broadway,” Valentinetti said.

In addition to entertaining his audiences with his rich, deep voice and classic big band-style, Valentinetti shares stories on stage about his growing up years.

“Growing up in my household, my heritage was important to me,’’ Valentinetti said. “Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Mel Tormé were like icons to me. They went up on stage and joked around like they were sitting around your table having dinner.”

On Dec. 11 at the King Center, the singer will perform songs from his newly-released Christmas album, “Christmas Presents from Sal Valentinetti.”

“It will be my first time doing a Christmas concert surrounded by palm trees, which will be an interesting experience for me,” said Valentinetti, who hails from Long Island, New York. “The most exciting thing about the show will be that I’m thawing out.

“The air doesn’t hurt your face when you walk outside in Florida. You don’t have to wear 13 layers of clothes. Layers are not that flattering for someone the size as me,” Valentinetti said laughing. “You don’t have to remove 3 feet of (snow) off of your car to get it off your driveway either.”

“Christmas has to do with community and family in Florida,’’ Valentinetti said. “Everyone gets along and does Christmas together.”

The entertainer will appear on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent Championship Edition” series airing Jan. 7.

“The series will have 50 acts from all over the world. It will be tremendous fun,” Valentinetti said.