This story has been exploding all over the news for the past week or so, and I think it’ll warm the cockles of the hearts of any pianists among my readership.
First, the background: One of the nicer things about legendary rock musician Billy Joel is his passion for music education. For decades, he’s held seminars, master classes and Q & A sessions where he shares his personal knowledge and experience in a relaxed audience setting.
(For those who might not catch Pollack’s phrasing because of the poor sound quality, he said that he’s played piano together with Billy Joel’s former saxophonist Richie Canatta. Proof that a little name-dropping never hurts!)
“What key do you do it in?” “What key do you want it in?” Classic! Good on Michael for having the courage to ask, and good on Joel for taking a chance on him. Together, they provided a fabulous moment. This performance actually took place in January, but the video was not put on Youtube until fairly recently, at which point it went viral. Michael seems like a really nice kid, and he was discovered by Canatta at a very young age as a talent to watch. Here is a Vanderbilt spotlight interview with him.