The Celebration of Music

Ethan Bortnick to hold talent search in Memphis

by Langston Meyers

Being the home of the Blues and birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, Memphians know something about music, and, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, so does “The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Headline His Own Concert Tour,” Ethan Bortnick. This 16 year-old began when he asked his parents to take piano lessons at age 5. He quickly discovered his ability to hear a song once and immediately play it back note for note. Since then, aside from headlining his own tour, he has performed with artists like Beyonce, Elton John, and Josh Gorban. On January 7, Ethan is performing at the Buckman Center for Perform-ing Arts. Until then, he is searching for local talent to be featured on his PBS television show, Celebration of Music. Singers, Dancers, or anyone with any kind of musical ability is encouraged to send audition tapes to this link Submit your Audition 

  1. How did you become the “World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Headline Your Own Concert Tour”?
    When I was asked to film my first PBS television special, the folks at AEG Live [a touring company], asked me to perform my concert across America. So, when I started that concert tour at age 9, I became the youngest musician to headline a solo concert tour. I was 9 years, 9 months and 9 days old.”
  2. What’s it like performing for so many people at such a young age?
    I love what I do! I love performing for people and most of all, I love interacting and meeting so many people. I also get inspired by others and feel that music brings us all together. It is a feeling that is very hard to describe, but I can tell you that there is something powerful about music and about performing it.”
  3. What drives your passion for charity, as you have raised $50 million for world-wide nonprofits?
    “When my younger brother was born, we found out that he was missing half his heart. Once the doctors and surgeons were able to save him, I was invited to perform for the hospitals fundraising gala. When I performed and saw how much money we raised to help others like my brother, that’s when I got inspired. Since then, I have been honored to be able to use music to help hundreds of different causes.”
  4. Why do you think giving back is important?
    “Giving back is important because everyone deserves a peaceful and normal life. I think everyone can give back no matter who they are. I give back using my music but giving back doesn’t always mean giving money or raising money. I wrote a song called “Two Seconds”, where I talk about the fact that anyone can give back and all it takes is two seconds. They can give someone a smile, a hug, a word of encouragement and so much more. If we all give back just a little bit, this world would be a better place.”
  5. What commonalities do you think talented people share?
    “I truly believe everyone is talented in something. I think everyone has some sort of gift that he/she has been given. I think that the ones that discover it and are encouraged to pursue it are those that may excel at it more.”
  6. What do you want those interested in this competition to know?
    “I believe that music and arts are super important! This is a way for me to be able to help other kids be discovered. I hope that those that have a passion
    for music and arts can feel safe with this new TV show. This show will not put anyone down and will allow the kids to shine. My goal with this TV show is to allow music and arts to be shared by other kids in a safe and friendly environ-ment. Celebration of Music - Talent Search is going to be seen in cities all over the country and we hope to discover many more kids that love and enjoy music and the arts.”

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