The Real Deal: Brandon Goldberg swings by Helena

Young jazz pianist and his quintet make sole Montana stop April 27 at The Myrna

On Stage

Acclaimed teen jazz phenom, Brandon Goldberg, has been playing piano since he was 3 years old, playing professionally since he was 8 and in jazz clubs starting at 12. The talented 17-year-old performs with his quintet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at The Myrna Loy in Helena. It’s his only stop in Montana.

Goldberg has already won numerous awards and top reviews for his two albums, which both earned four-star reviews from Downbeat Magazine.

Although the band hasn’t picked a playlist yet, he anticipates playing a combination of jazz standards and original music.

“We usually play a blend of original music and music from the Great American Songbook with music from the great composers like Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin,” he said. “And great jazz music from the ‘50s and ‘60s – songs written by Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis.”

Goldberg got hooked on jazz at a very early age and comes from a family of music lovers. Although they’re not musicians, they played a lot of recorded music when he was a child.

It was Frank Sinatra who hooked him when he was 6 years old, says Goldberg, who is a high school junior fin Miami.

“My grandparents showed me a Sinatra video and I immediately fell in love with that,” he said. “I spent my weekend watching all the recorded Sinatra concerts and specials.”

“I started listening to the people he associated with – Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tony Bennett and Bill Evans.”

When he saw Evans was a pianist too, he thought, “If I could do something close to this – this is special.”

And so is his music.

Goldberg calls the members of his quintet “some of the most brilliant jazz musicians performing.”

As for his own contribution, “I love what I do. I hope to share that with people and to move people with the music.”

The youngest recipient of the ASCAP 2022 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, he’s played at many of the most prestigious jazz clubs, festivals and venues.

Downbeat wrote of his “unassailable technique, advanced harmonic understanding, a deep sense of swing, and most impressively, a clarity and plethora of ideas executed to near-perfection.”

Jazzwise called him “the real deal.” His “touch, use of pedals and his interpretive skill are of high order.”

Preceding the concert, The Myrna Loy will host a 6 p.m. dedication ceremony outdoors for the new Richard Swanson sculpture installation. Concert patrons are invited to attend that event as well.

Tickets are $25 and available online, 15 N. Ewing, or call 406-443-0287.