HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A boy with autism became the star of the show when he played the piano during a Harry Connick Jr. concert in Hollywood.
Jacob Velazquez is no stranger to the spotlight. He’s a local music celebrity who has played the national anthem for the Miami Heat.
But that’s not all. The 10-year-old music prodigy has his own YouTube channel where he features his performances and music videos, like one called “Reflections of Passion.”
Sunday night, the Pembroke Pines native really got a chance to shine when legendary piano player Harry Connick Jr. called him up on stage during his concert at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
“Hey, Hollywood. How are you doing tonight?” he is seen saying in a video of the concert.
How did this high-profile gig happen? Connick and Velazquez originally met on Connick’s talk show and realized they had a lot in common.
“We both started playing piano at the age of 3, we both started performing at the age of 5, and we both started performing a concerto with an orchestra at the age of 9,” said Velazquez.
The two became fast friends, so when Connick came to town to perform, he invited Velazquez to his sound check, his concert and then to perform.
Velazquez’s parents were thrilled.
“It was just amazing seeing him up there,” said his mother, Tina Velazquez. “What a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a kid, and Jacob just loves music so much, so this was such a great opportunity.”
“It was a dream come true,” said his father, Willie Velazquez. “I couldn’t believe that my 10-year-old-son was actually on stage with a performer like Harry Connick Jr.”
But tickling the ivories wasn’t enough. Connick also let Velazquez show off his drumming skills.
For the 10-year-old, music is more than just a way of dealing with his autism; it’s his passion. Thanks to Connick, his dream of playing on the big stage has finally come true.
If you would like to know more about Jacob Velazquez and his music, click here.
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