If you haven’t heard of young pianist Ethan Bortnick yet, you will.
At the age of 9, he has already performed with some of the music industry’s heaviest hitters. He made his television debut in 2007 when he performed on “The Tonight Show Featuring Jay Leno” and has been gaining recognition ever since. He even wrote andfor the greatest fighter of all time, Muhammad Ali. His grandfather gave him a book about the champ and Ethan wrote his song after reading it.
Currently, the Hollywood, Florida, 4th grader Bortnick
Bortnick tells Family First his favorite part of touring, besides the performance itself, is spending time with his family. His father, Gene, is accompanying him on the entire tour with his mother and grandparents joining in for later dates on the tour. He says he also enjoys playing hide and seek with his two adult band-mates when they are on the tour bus. One of the final dates of the tour takes Ethan and his family to Orlando where they’re planning a family visit to Disney World.
Ethan’s tour is taking him on all kinds of adventures. When Family First spoke to Ethan, he was in Los Angeles for his concert date there. He had just run into Usher while eating lunch and they chatted. Usher remembered Ethan from when they both performed in the “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” concert last February.
While in California, Ethan also got to meet the people who animated the “Melody Street” short features he has appeared in. His concert in Denver will also include a special guest, Julie Clark, the creator of the Baby Einstein videos. This is significant to Ethan’s life because, at the age of 3, he taught himself to play piano after listening to the Baby Einstein videos. He has also performed for Disney’s Little Einsteins.
Ethan says he usually learns songs by ear, especially if it’s a song he needs to learn in a day or two. When he is preparing for concerts, he says it usually takes him 3-4 days to learn a new song and then he works on perfecting it. He also said he likes to tailor his concerts to the audience. If he thinks they’ll like classical music more, that’s what he performs. If the crowd is more teenaged, he might perform more Justin Beiber-type tunes, he says.
He is also a very giving young philanthropist. After his little brother was born missing a portion of his heart, he was cared for at Miami Children’s Hospital. Now, Ethan helps raise funds for The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as a way to thank them for helping his brother, who is now 5 years old. “I love him. He’s amazing. He’s the best brother,” says Ethan.
]]> as a benefit for the The Children’s Miracle Network. To learn more about Ethan, his music, his tour and to watch video of this future superstar, please visit www.ethanbortnick.com. Ethan also has a CD and DVD available from his 2010 PBS special called “Ethan Bortnick and his Musical Time Machine” where he plays a variety of music from different eras that is a real treat to see. Keep your eye on this kid!