The Piano Guys -- the duo that has become a YouTube sensation -- comes to Red Butte Gardens Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. for a PBS concert special being produced by KUED-TV in collaboration with KBYU.
The Piano Guys are actually a pianist (Jon Schmidt) and cellist (Steven Sharp Nelson), both Utah natives. Known for their YouTube videos filmed in majestic Utah settings, their next scenic stop is Salt Lake’s Red Butte Garden, where they'll be joined by guest artists including vocalist Alex Boy and the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic.
“For anyone who’s wanted to experience a PBS special as part of the concert audience, this is a must,” says KUED General Manager Michael A. Dunn. “We feel very fortunate to be able to showcase this kind of talent in such a spectacular venue as Red Butte Garden. The concert special will debut in December on KUED and KBYU and will go nationwide to other PBS stations in the spring of 2012. This collaborative production is historic in PBS annals in that we’re producing this with our friends at KBYU, who have been an essential partner in producing this for a national public television audience.”
On the program will be the debut of the duo's latest song, Alex Boye in "Peponi," (Swahili for Paradise), cover for Cold Play's "Paradise;" "Cello Wars;" "Beethoven's Five Secrets," with the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic children's choir; "Thousand Years," "What Makes You Beautiful," and "Bring Him Home."
Tickets are on sale through Red Butte Garden at $25 General Admission, $20 for KUED, KBYU and Red Butte Garden members and $10 for children. Tickets can be purchased online at redbuttegarden.org/concert. A sellout is expected.
The Piano Guy's elaborate YouTube videos, often filmed with remote controlled aerial cameras to showcase the scenery, have received as many as six million views. Their latest song, “One Direction,” received 6,771,000 views on YouTube. “Me and My Cello,” a clever video set to their arrangement of The Turtles’ “Happy Together” with Steven and his cello in a variety of locations, has received upwards of 2 million views.
The Piano Guys started out in a piano store called The Piano Guys in St. George, Utah. One day, Jon Schmidt walked in and asked if he could use a piano to practice before a concert. The store’s owner, Paul Anderson, was blown away by Schmidt’s talent and they teamed up with Tel Stewart “The Video Guy” and Al Van Der Beek “The Music Guy” to create music videos. At first, the videos were very basic, but as time went on, the men created more and more involved productions.
After filming a few videos with Jon, Paul introduced him to Steven Sharp Nelson, a cellist who blew Jon away. They realized that together they'd all make a great team. Jon and Steven have been performing together for several years, and the rest is history in the making.
“Our vision is to create music and videos that inspire and uplift,” they say. “We want to take that music to the world and make a difference. We like to put a new spin on classic stuff and a classic spin on new stuff. Whatever we do, we put our heart and souls into every note and frame.”
The Piano Guys at Red Butte Garden is presented by Key Bank.
Please visit our website at www.kued.org/jobs for information about job opportunities at KUED.