George A. Santino of Woodinville has spent most of his life pressing on as a father and a businessman – until now. With the kids grown up and the mortgage paid off, this 56 year-old retired Microsofty is having a little fun of his own. You might even say he’s got the world on a string.
Santino released his debut album “Come Fly with Me,” a collection of Frank Sinatra covers, on May 15. The road to getting to this dream music career however, hasn’t been easy or short. But Santino isn’t interested in always taking the easy road. This lively business man with a passion for the arts lives by the saying, “it’s never too late.”
Born in Philadelphia to a family struggling to provide, Santino had a voice that could brighten up a room at a young age. But he quickly learned that a singing career wasn’t the most reliable for paying the bills and starting a family. He went on to get his education and afterwards worked at a whole sale liquor store in Tampa, Florida where he ruptured a disk in his back and was told he was disabled for life. But in the true Santino fashion, he said to himself, “wait a minute, this isn’t the way it ends.”
He restored his health and decided to start learning more about computers and software. After applying to Microsoft and getting rejected multiple times because of his lack of formal training he finally landed an entry level software tester position. After climbing the corporate ladder for 20 years, Santino retired as a partner of the company. But even after his overwhelming success, there was more Santino wanted to do.
“Life can’t just be about showing up for work and paying bills, then doing it all over again,” said Santino. “It has to matter that you were here, I truly believe that you have to do something that leaves a mark.”
Santino is leaving his mark with musical notes from songs that reflect his story of struggle and triumph.
“‘that’s Life’ is a song about getting knocked on your butt and getting back up,” he said. “It’s about feeling what you’re singing.”
With time to pursue his dream, Santino has been singing and recording and landed the #1 spot on Amazon.com’s Swing Jazz list for his single “That’s Life.” With his growing popularity, Santino is determined to make his singing career a success.
People keep reminding him, “You’re an old guy, you’re 56 years-old, you’re retired and you’re working just as hard as you were.” But the work is different this time around. It’s a dream. And he’s finally doing it, his way.