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MAJORminor: Ethan Bortnick - KeyboardMag

MAJORminor: Ethan Bortnick

Most ten-year-olds are not playing the Oprah Winfrey Show or interviewing the likes of Quincy Jones and Ben Folds, but then, Ethan Bortnick is not most ten-year-olds.
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Most ten-year-olds are not playing the Oprah Winfrey Show or interviewing the likes of Quincy Jones and Ben Folds, but then, Ethan Bortnick is not most ten-year-olds. He has appeared with Elton John and Beyoncé, and has helped raise millions for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Miami Children’s Hospital, and other worthy causes. His PBS special Ethan Bortnick and His Musical Time Machine is out now on DVD, and his concert is coming to a theater near you. Find out more at ethanbortnick.com.

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How did you get started in music? I started playing when I was three, after asking my parents for piano lessons. Up to that point, I’d been mimicking everything I heard. Now I live in south Florida, and I love to play concerts around the world. I hope I can encourage others to play the piano or do anything they want.

What has been your worst gig nightmare so far? I haven’t had one. I love to perform, and even if something goes wrong, like when all the electricity went out once, the acoustic piano still works!

How important is traditional music training? It’s important, but you have to remember to enjoy what you do and always have fun!

Read sheet music or play by ear? Both.

Role technology plays in your music: I use Roland keyboards for my digital needs and Baldwin grand pianos for my concerts.

Know a young keyboard wiz in your area? Let us know, and he or she might be our next MAJORminor!