Guitar Prodigy Brandon Niederauer Rocks The Talkhouse
From the moment he stepped on stage at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett on a warm summer night in July, 14-year-old Brandon Niederauer had his audience mesmerized watching his agile fingers slide up and down the neck of his electric guitar as he played it with all his heart and soul. This talented young guitarist/singer/songwriter together with his band The Brandon Niederauer Band and guest singer Elise Testone performed a medley of blues and rock songs, including some songs he wrote, with the emotion of a musician at least three times his age. He was “one” with his guitar channeling his whole body and emotions through his instrument with incredible speed and feeling. Brandon’s amazing movements, facial expressions, and total stage presence were captivating. Jokingly, one fan yelled out after his first song, “Is that all you got?” while the audience roared with laughter.
Brandon Niederauer, a guitar prodigy from Dix Hills, Long Island has been playing the guitar since the age of 8½ when in the summer of 2011, his dad, Gary Niederauer got him his first guitar. He then attended Rock-n-Roll University in Hauppauge, NY where Music Director Bill Mignoli gave him the name of “TAZ” because “he played like the Tasmanian Devil.” According to Brandon, the movie, School of Rock greatly influenced him along with The Allman Brothers Band who he says, “will probably be my favorite band for the rest of my life.” Ironically, at age 12 he ended up performing the role of “Zack Mooneyham” in the Broadway production, School of Rock the Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber for two years.
Brandon enjoys playing all different genres of music from Classic Rock, Funk, Funk Infused Blues, to Latin and Jazz. He says, “I want to take all the things I love from the different genres of music and infuse them into my own playing.” He describes his musical style as “melodic-based guitar playing even when I’m playing fast.” Brandon also writes his own music and lyrics. “I write stories about something that happened to me or how music feels to me. Writing music first, empowers music in a different way than writing lyrics first. Music is a lifestyle. It is the most powerful thing in my life. I will never stop writing or playing music.”
Brandon has many other interests besides music. He reads a lot of books, loves math and science, and plays chess. He loves sports, especially skiing and basketball. He’s also a typical teenager that likes hanging out with his friends. After meeting and greeting his fans at The Talkhouse that night, Brandon later slipped out the back door, and could be found at the local pizza place having a slice with his friends.
Brandon has played with big stars like Gregg Allman from The Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes, George Porter Jr., and Lady Gaga, among many others. He appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show at the age of 10 and has been on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. His mom, Alexandra Niederauer teaches her son offstage to be “respectful, grateful, humble, and kind to others.” She believes that, “What is more important than being talented is being nice.” Lucky for his mom, he is both talented and nice!
Brandon has an upcoming acting role in Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, a Netflix TV series due out this fall, that he enjoyed filming in Brooklyn. Brandon has learned a lot from being exposed to so many different experiences. He says, “I look forward to the next chapter in my life and I hope my music career takes off at some point.” So do we!
Upcoming tour dates for Brandon Niederauer:
September 3 – Westport Blues & BBQ Fest Westport CT
September 14-16 – Harvest Jazz and Blues Fest Fredericton Canada
September 22-23 – Brooklyn Comes Alive NY
Photo courtesy of Paula Schiff