Just who are The Piano Guys?
Posted on 05/01/2019
State Theatre New Jersey is thrilled to welcome The Piano Guys to it’s stage on September 10! The Piano Guys, Jon Schmidt, Paul Anderson, Steven Sharp Nelson, and Al van der Beek—who met inside of a piano shop—first formed as a group in 2010. Now, nine years later, they are touring and playing all around the world. Let's take a closer look at each of The Piano Guys.
Jon Schmidt was born with natural talent for music. He began composing music at the young age of 11, and teaching music lessons around the time when most teenagers are just interested in getting their driver’s license. His early 20s were just the beginning; he's leapt from a successful career as a solo artist to plenty of success with The Piano Guys. He is "thrilled to reach a wider audience" since joining up with his band mates.
Paul Anderson took traditional piano lessons as a child, but ironically quit as a teenager because he didn’t believe that piano was “cool” enough. After Anderson graduated high school, he was later exposed to a digital piano that could produce different sounds as well as piano when being played. This immediately made piano very cool again, and helped Anderson establish a new love for the keyboard. He went on to deliver products for a water company, with a piano store being one of his delivery locations. One day, he sat inside of the store and played one of the keyboards. A customer wandered in, and began asking Anderson questions about keyboards, and Anderson gladly showed him what they could do. He impressed the manager of the store who had quietly been watching and listening, and then offered a position for Anderson to work at the store. This is where he later met and helped develop the members of The Piano Guys.
Steven Sharp Nelson is an award-winning cellist, composer, and arranger who has a palpable passion for music. In addition to cello, Nelson also plays guitar, and percussion. He is also considered to be a bit of a music pioneer. He has invented a multitude of cello textures that have never been heard before. He has spent an untold amount of hours creating sounds that are familiar, but completely their own. Nelson helps to create music for The Piano Guys by first using a cello to do so. He enjoys confusing people being a cellist in a band called The Piano Guys, and he couldn’t be happier with his journey with the band thus far!
Al van der Beek has always had an ear for harmonies, and talent being able to quickly pick up and play multiple musical instruments. He was originally interested in playing saxophone when he was younger, but his parents convinced him to play the violin instead. In high school, he started up a music group with three of his close friends. Their band would open for numerous well known groups and artists (Boyz II Men, L.L. Cool J, etc.) during this time, he was introduced to the recording studio, and fell in love with music production. He uses all that he has learned to produce and write for The Piano Guys, as well as take on the additional roles of sound engineer and vocalist.
Come see The Piano Guys at State Theatre New Jersey on September 10 for a night of music, and stellar performing!
By Kat Farese