Brandon Goldberg isn’t your average 11-year-old.
While others his age are checking out the latest tracks by The Weeknd or Imagine Dragons, Goldberg can be found grooving to the likes of Coltrane, Davis, Parker and Canada’s very own jazz legend Oscar Peterson.
“I would say Oscar Peterson is one of my favourites, even his later stuff,” Goldberg says, sounding much more mature than his young age. “I really like jazz. I think it’s the feeling I get when I play. It’s just creative.”
Goldberg will be in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Saturday performing at Stratus Vineyards as a part of Bravo Niagara’s Spring into Music @ Stratus series.
Goldberg, who was recently featured on Harry, with Harry Connick Jr., and NBC’s Little Big Shots with Steve Harvey, has performed at many renowned venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater and the Blue Note in New York City.
The Miami, Fla., native got an early start playing music. He was just three years old when he became enamoured with the family’s piano.
“I would pick out the melodies of songs we learned in preschool,” he said. “Probably when I was about seven I was thinking about what I wanted to be. I decided I wanted to be a pianist.”
Goldberg keeps a hectic schedule, between school and rehearsals. This interview was scheduled for a few moments of downtime as his mom, Ella, drove him to a rehearsal.
He can often be found hanging out with kids older than him and with adults, playing the music he loves.
“I don’t have a lot of friends my age,” he says. “I’ll be with the high school kids playing jazz. I really have fun playing with my (older) friends at jam sessions.”
Goldberg is also in the midst of producing his first album, which will feature three original songs.
“I’m not sure when it will be coming out,” he says. “It will be sometime this year, closer to the summer or fall.”
Goldberg will be joined by special guests Dave Young, bassist for the Oscar Peterson Trio, Paul Marinaro and Jim Doxas, longtime drummer for jazz pianist Oliver Jones. Céline Peterson, daughter of jazz great Oscar Peterson, will host a special Q&A to discuss her father’s work.
Goldberg’s performance follows on the heels of Friday night’s performance by the Schwarz & Bournaki Cello and Piano Duo, comprised of internationally acclaimed cellist Julian Schwarz and pianist Marika Bournaki.
Both shows start at 7:30 p.m.
Ticket prices range from $40 to $50 with “Under 30” ticket discounts available. Prices exclude HST and service fees. Visit www.bravoniagara.org or call 289-868-9177, for more information or to purchase tickets. Children 12 and under are admitted free with the purchase of one general admission adult ticket.