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Brandon Goldberg Is the Little Piano Man

The keyboard wunderkind takes on Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington at age 13

Brandon Goldberg (photo: Daria Huxley)
Brandon Goldberg (photo: Daria Huxley)

Brandon Goldberg’s YouTube channel is filled with videos of the young piano phenom performing publicly with preternatural poise and displaying jaw-dropping musical skill. There’s an eight-year-old Goldberg, outfitted in a pint-sized tuxedo, performing Haydn’s Piano Concerto No. 11 with the South Florida Youth Symphony. A nine-year-old Goldberg jamming with Monty Alexander. An 11-year-old Goldberg sitting in with Arturo Sandoval. He’s dazzled audiences on the TV show Little Big Shots and spoken and played at TEDx Talks, all before turning 10.

His star clearly on the ascent, Goldberg, now 13, has released his debut album, Let’s Play! (Brandon Goldberg Music). It’s a trio recording of standards and Goldberg originals that also features bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Donald Edwards, with saxophonist Marcus Strickland guesting on two tracks. Let’s Play! introduces the listener to a gifted pianist and composer, a sensitive interpreter, and an inventive improviser who is deeply immersed in jazz. It’s an impressive achievement by any standard, made doubly striking by the fact that Goldberg was 12 when he recorded it.

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Originally Published

Lucy Tauss

Lucy Tauss is a New York City-based music journalist and longtime JazzTimes contributor. She is also a radio and audio producer/writer/editor/journalist who covers news, entertainment and everything in between.