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Canadian crooner Mitch Seekins to perform Tony Bennett tunes in "A Swingin' Christmas"

By Camille Doty
Dec. 10, 2011 at 6:10 a.m.

Mitch Seekins, 50, will sing Tony Bennett songs for the concert called, "A Swingin' Christmas." His Friday performance in Victoria at the Leo J. Welder Center will be his last for the year.

IF YOU GO:

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Leo J. Welder Center, 214 N. Main St., Victoria

COST: $31

FOR MORE INFO: Visit theatrevictoria.org

Mitch Seekins loves to sing. On Friday, he will show the Crossroads how much.

"I'm a singer, it's what I do," he said. "It really helps when people have big smiles on their faces."

The 50-year-old Canadian tenor will fly across international skies just for his Friday concert at the Leo J. Welder Center.

Seekins came to Victoria a year ago as part of the International Tenors.

The 90-minute concert this Friday, "A Swingin' Christmas," will consist of songs recorded by Tony Bennett such as "Silver Bells," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and "All I Want For Christmas Is You." But Seekins said he will present them in his own style.

He will be accompanied by female vocalist Amy Redden Smith, of Memphis, Tenn.

Julie Zimmerman, general manager of Theatre Victoria, said the patrons would enjoy the show because it's a live performance with great video and still images of Tony Bennett.

Zimmerman also complimented Seekins,

"He has an incredible stage presence and voice," she said.

Seekins, who has 30 years professional music experience, also will share anecdotes of the New York pop icon.

After reading Bennett's own memoirs, Seekins learned the musical sensation had legions of female fans in the 1950s called the Bobby Socks.

"I've been a fan of Tony's for a long time. Why not put on a show that celebrates him?" said Seekins, who admires the longevity of Bennett's 61-year singing career.

Seekins, a father of four, will also do a meet and greet with fans after the show and sell his latest album, "Stepping Out." Some of the proceeds will go to a local charity to provide meals for senior citizens.

Seekins lives in Burlington, Canada, about 20 miles south of Toronto. The South Texas concert will culminate his 2011 schedule.

"I enjoy the travel, it's an adventure," he said. In the past, he's traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

In addition to singing professionally, he is a vocal teacher. Seekins said he enjoys both aspects of music about the same. He said he doesn't plan to slow down anytime soon.

"I'm going to keep on going as long as people bring me to their town to put on a show," he said.

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