Spend an evening with 'Sal the Voice' in Greensburg
Sal Valentinetti is only 21 years old, but if you close your eyes, you'd swear you're listening to Frank Sinatra crooning his unforgettable renditions of “My Way” or “That's Life.”
Ever since the young singer wowed the judges on NBC's “America's Got Talent” competition — including Heidi Klum, who selected him as her “Golden Buzzer” artist last summer — there's been no turning back for the proud New Yorker from Bethpage, Long Island.
He had to settle for fifth place on the TV reality show, but his achievement was a huge deal to the entertainer and former pizza delivery guy who grew up listening to Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Vic Damone and other artists of that era whose songs he loves singing.
He opened for Jay Leno in Las Vegas in November and recently appeared with guest host Regis Philbin on Hallmark Channel's “Home & Family” show. He was asked by Klum to perform a duet with her on a TV Christmas special; they sang “Santa Baby” together on “America's Got Talent Holiday Spectacular” in December.
He's currently on tour with concert dates booked through June and other engagements scheduled into 2018. He will perform on Feb. 18 at the Palace Theatre in Greensburg, with opening act comedian Mike Marino.
“I'm 21 and I'm getting to live my dream,” says Valentinetti, who is known in music circles and to his friends as “Sal the Voice.”
He's fine with being labeled an old-school entertainer, but he also is committed to “bridging the gap between the generations” with the music he loved listening to with his late grandmother and introducing anyone who will listen to his unique sound, regardless of their age.
“I was inspired by the music I grew up with,” he says. “My voice just happened to be deep and raspy. I don't need 30 years of scotch and cigarettes to sound like Sinatra.”
Along with the classics he performs, he says he wants to do more with re-imagining pop standards such as his hit interpretation of One Direction's “Story of My Life.” He's also planning to record an upcoming live performance in Westbury, N.Y., which will be released as a CD.
It's important for Valentinetti to share his positive attitude with everyone around him, including his production team. Before a performance, he gathers his band members, his dancers and his technical crew together and asks them, “Is everybody here because they love what they do? Remember, when you're here, it's the happiest place on earth, like Disney.”
“You gotta spread that message of positivity,” he says.
The performer has several plans for other directions he'd like to see his career take, including a television variety show, an animated movie, and of course, more recordings.
For now, he's happy taking his show on the road.
Opening his show at the Palace Theatre will be comedian Mike Marino, who hails from Jersey City, N.J., and is known in his act as “New Jersey's Bad Boy.”
He has done many national television commercials, earning a best actor Clio Award nomination, and has performed on television shows, including “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” “Becker,” “Nikki,” “Frasier” and “Party of Five.” His film credits include “Crooks,” “Pizza with Bullets,” and Steven King's “Lucky Quarter.”
Marino was inducted into the New Jersey Comedy Hall of Fame, and in 2015 he won the USO Bob Hope Comedy Award for his performances for the military.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.