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  • Richard Duckett, Telegram and Gazette

Marco Turo, former restaurateur, has a concert on the menu at Wachusett Country Club

Published in Worcester Magazine on Nov. 4, 2022.

Telegram & Gazette

Marco Turo has had a couple of what he calls his quotes in life.

One has been, "When I’m singing, I’m happy." More recently, he said, it's been, "Time waits for no man."

Both quotes are inter-related.

Turo , who was born in Worcester, is a former restauranteur who sold his restaurant in his 50s to try what would really make him happy, namely singing professionally.

Happily, he has a lot on his plate in a different sense these days, dividing his time between performing in Florida, which is now his home, and coming back to these parts for singing appearances, mainly during the summer but at other times as well.

And Turo isn't slowing down.

On Nov. 6 he'll be performing with a 12-piece orchestra led by veteran arranger Paul Vesco at the Feast of Little Italy in Jupiter, Florida. Then he'll be driving from his Florida home back to Worcester in early November for a couple of shows in this area.

On Nov. 19 Turo will be be singing with the 13-piece Night Life Orchestra from Providence, Rhode Island, at a "Thanksgiving Gala featuring 'Marco" " at the Wachusett Country Club in West Boylston. The event includes cocktails at 6 p.m., and dinner, entertainment and dancing starting at 7 p.m.

A couple of days earlier he'll be at Teresa's Prime Steak House in North Reading on Nov. 17 for a dinner/show with music starting at 6:30 p.m. Turo's previous appearances at Teresa's have sold out.

There may be a couple of Worcester or other close-by appearances before Turo heads back to Florida.

"Time is moving on," Turo said during a recent telephone interview from his home in Boca Raton, Florida. "I just turned 60 and there's no time to waste."

Turo recently signed with Jerry Somma of VIA Productions, a production management company based in Jupiter, with the idea of developing a show that Turo can take to theaters nationwide.

As Frank Sinatra also might have put it, hopefully "The best is yet to come."

Turo said, "I love what I do. It keeps me young."

But he's not just young at heart.

"I ride my bike to the beach four to five days a week. A little golf," he said.

However, "a stomach issue" put him in the hospital for a few days before he made a full recovery. "It made me realize how short life is," Turo said.

So here's another quote in life. " 'Do what you love to do,' " Turo said.

Turo’s father, the late Leo J. Turo, was a former state representative and Governor’s Council member who owned Leo’s Ristorante at 11 Leo Turo Way, off Shrewsbury Street. Marco Turo grew up right next to Shrewsbury Street on Shamrock Street. There was always music being played, whether at home or at the restaurant, with quite an emphasis on Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and other legends of that kind and time. Turo would sing in the kitchen and later at weddings. People told him he had a good voice.

Leo's Ristorante is still in business. Meanwhile, Marco Turo subsequently owned and operated Bistro Limoncello Ristorante in Northborough.

But he sold Bistro Limoncello, hired a voice coach, practiced in a friend’s garage, and started performing professionally.

His voice is his own, but it's not hard to discern a little Frank Sinatra when he sings. It's not an imitation, it just naturally seems to be there. On the other hand, Turo can sound equally at home singing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" or songs by Elvis Presley and Engelbert Humperdinck. In fact, his repertoire is vast.

Still, attempting a professional singing career was a bit of a long shot. But Turo started booking his own gigs in Worcester, Cape Cod and Providence, and gained a following. He then drove down to Florida where after three weeks he was performing up to five or six nights a week.

Usually, he comes back to perform in these parts in the summer, including appearances at Constantino's Venda Bar and Ristorante and Costantino’s Venda Ravioli in Providence.

On his yearly trips back to Worcester for the summer, Turo would stay with his uncle Fran. But Fran has now moved to Boca Raton with Turo, so Turo will be staying with a friend in Worcester this time instead.

Turo is currently performing at Vinnie's By the Sea in Lauderdale-by-Sea and Umberto's in Pompano Beach and plans to return to those venues. He's said he's waiting on some other engagements that he won't commit to until he's in Florida again toward the end of November. "I have a lot of things going on down here," Turo said.

Somma also owns the Feast of Little Italy that Turo will be performing at in Jupiter, so Turo was hopeful of making a good impression. He'll be singing 27 songs.

Vesco, who will be conducting the 12-piece orchestra in Jupiter, has worked with singers such as Sinatra and Tony Bennett in the past.

The show that Turo would tour with to venues such as theaters has the title "Lyrics of the Legends" and would consist of tributes to Sinatra, Elvis, Paul Anka, Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin, and more.

But for this coming New Year's Eve, Turo plans to be back in the area again with a show either at the Wachusett Country Club or Teresa's Prime Steak.

Then next summer he'll be back here and spending a lot of time performing in Providence at Costantino’s Venda Ravioli two or three nights a week with the Night Life Orchestra. The Constantino family in Providence has been very supportive, he said. Similarly, Peter Stathoulopoulos has produced local shows featuring Turo. Turo also talks with pride about his son, Dante Turo, who is director of media sales for a sports company and another good reason to keep returning to the Worcester area.

If "Lyrics of the Legends" came to the Northeast, the Night Life Orchestra would be featured, Turo said. In Florida and surrounding areas, Paul Vesco's orchestra will be playing.

Turo has been praised for his charm in concert, and he said that stage presence is one of his keys to success.

But "Voice is number one," he said.

"My voice has never let me down once. God forbid. Knock on wood."

And also, "My drive." If "Lyrics of the Legends" could get in theaters and tour, "I think I could do this for another 15 years," Turo said.

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