NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — Every once in a while you run across someone who just blows you away.
But as CBS 2’s Steve Bartelstein reports, it’s not every day that someone is 10 years old, and surpasses the talent of people generations older when he sits down at the piano.
“I’m just a regular kid. I’m doing my homework here. A few minutes ago, I was playing video games,” said Ethan Bortnick.
Sounds fairly typical for a 10-year-old, until he says, “and then, when I need to, I just play some concerts, do some charities.”
It is at those concerts where Ethan Bortnick, regular kid, sits down at the piano and begins channeling Little Richard, right down to the, “Woo!”
“When I was like 3 years old or something like that, I was begging my parents for piano lessons, but they just said, ‘Yeah, you’re still in diapers,’” Ethan said.
But he turned out to be a piano prodigy.
“I’m 10. That was like, seven years ago. I was really little back then,” Ethan said.
He also writes his own compositions. His “Arctic Jazz” suggests more years of training than he has even been alive.
“I just have a lot of fun,” Ethan said. “The rest, I guess my dad does – I don’t know.”
And dad may realize, like everyone else, that Ethan is special.
Ethan’s online biography says he learned the piano by mimicking music he would hear on the radio and on the “Baby Einstein” series.
He appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno in 2007, and has also appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Good Morning America,” “The Martha Stewart Show,” and “Yo Gabba Gabba.”
Also in 2007, he made his concert debut opening for Nelly Furtado in Hollywood, Fla. Since then, he has appeared with Elton John, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Beyonce, and Reba McEntire, according to his online bio.
On Feb. 1, 2010, he was the youngest performer in the all-star “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” recording.
He is now on his first national headlining tour.