Ethan Jordan Bortnick (born December 24, 2000) is an American pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, actor and musician.
Early life and education:
Bortnick was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida. His parents, Hannah and Gene Bortnick, were born in Ukraine and are Jewish. Bortnick began playing a keyboard at the age of three and was composing music at age five. He has been featured on national and international television programs. His parents have helped him raise money for charities by performing.
May 10, 2007
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Bortnick's national television debut. On the show, he met Cameron Diaz and Nelly Furtado.
The Martha Stewart Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, The Early Show.
May 10, 2008
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Appeared for the second time. Other guests included Dominic Monaghan and Sheryl Crow.
May 12, 2008
The Oprah Winfrey Show
segment was titled "Oprah Presents the World's Smartest Kids". In the episode, Ethan told Winfrey that "We still have to stay humble."
September 3, 2008
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Appeared for the third time. Other guests included Billy Bob Thornton and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
October 11, 2008
Disney Channel, on the show, Little Einsteins
Bortnick appeared as himself in the show and also recorded music for the show.
February 16, 2009
Mornings with Kerri-Anne (Australia)
The program surprised him by bringing out a koala. Bortnick instantly asked if the koala liked music, and jumped on the piano to perform a jazz piece for the koala.
April 22, 2009
Yo Gabba Gabba (Nickelodeon show)
Bortnick appeared as himself on the show's Green episode, promoting Earth Day.
May 13, 2009
Performed his song "Arctic Jazz"
May 19, 2009
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Appeared for the fourth time. Other guests included Terry Bradshaw and Blink-182. Bortnick performed, singing and playing the piano, a song that he had written honoring Jay as "The King of Late Night." Bortnick wrote the music and lyrics to this tribute to Leno, as a present for his departure from The Tonight Show.
October 26, 2010
Good Morning America
Performed his song "Arctic Jazz".
October 27, 2010
The Wendy Williams Show
Performed a variation of the show's theme song.
December 13, 2010
The Fran Drescher Show
Performed and then was interviewed during the show.
December 24, 2010
Fox and Friends Christmas Special
The show aired twice, on December 24 and 25, 2010
March 1, 2011
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah narrated an update on what Ethan has been doing. Ethan was picked as one of the Most talented kids from the last 25 years of her show. This show was part of the Farewell Season of Oprah.
January 23, 2012
He appeared on the show and performed his song "It's a Miracle"
PBS National Television Concert:
At 9 years old, Ethan became the youngest artist to have his own National PBS Concert Special. The special runs 60 minutes and 90 minutes.
Ethan made his PBS concert special debut with "Ethan Bortnick and His Musical Time Machine", part of PBS special programming, in August 2010 on PBS stations across the USA. Filmed at the historic El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, "Ethan Bortnick and His Musical Time Machine" puts Bortnick at center stage as he delivers a trip through music's history from classical to pop and many genres in between. Disco queen Gloria Gaynor joined Ethan for a rendition of her anthem "I Will Survive", while legendary trumpeter Arturo Sandoval accompanied him on the Louis Armstrong classic "What a Wonderful World."
Other performances included the Beatles favorite "Let It Be" and Bortnick's rowdy take on Little Richard's "Good Golly Miss Molly." He also introduced the crowd to some of his original compositions, including "Arctic Jazz," a song that delivers an inspirational message to a jazz swing, and "PBS You're The Best," a song which he wrote especially for the network.
In the DVD version of this special, Ethan interviewed Quincy Jones. Ethan spent an entire day with Quincy Jones, performing for him and asking him questions about music, life and the future. Quincy Jones stated, "Ethan's imagination and ability to create music from stories is unbelievable. With such special talent and expressive piano playing, he's sure to go all the way."
Ethan's PBS Special was produced by Mindfox Productions, AEG Live and Sun and Sky Entertainment. Musical director was Greg Phillinganes.
National Headlining Tour 2010/2011 (Musical Time Machine):
At the age of 10, Ethan is the youngest musician and entertainer to ever headline his own national tour.
Ethan created this 2 hour show himself, including the concept and the repertoire. The entire show (from start to finish) was led by Ethan playing, singing, story telling, answering questions, and emceeing the entire show himself.
Between October 5, 2010 and October 13, 2010 and then between January 14, 2011 - March 6, 2011, Bortnick headlined his own National Tour, performing 28 shows. Ethan's concerts covered music from different time periods, his own compositions, questions from the audience, composing of songs (using audience ringtones), and on-the-spot comedy. Each show was different. This tour was promoted by AEG Live.
The show received a 100% positive feedback rating on Ticketmaster, with reviews such as "Ethan is a true showman", "Genius", "Uplifting", "Fantastic", "Ethan is a wonder","Fabulous","Incredible, Funny, Inspiring for all ages"
18 concerts were sponsored by REMAX and the concerts benefited Children's Miracle Network. During the tour, Ethan stopped at local children's hospitals to perform for the kids who could not come and see him on his tour, due to illness. Ethan also donated proceeds from his CD and T-shirt sales to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and provided complimentary tickets to more than 100 children being treated at children's hospitals and their families, in each city.
Some of the major cities that were included on this tour were New York in Times Square, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago Area, Atlanta, Houston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Seattle, Denver, Kansas City, Portland, Raleigh, NC, Orlando, Hollywood, FL,
Some of the venues on this tour were Best Buy Theater, Cerritos Center, Keswick Theater, Belcourt Theater, Benaroya Hall, Paramount Theatre (Denver, Colorado), Midland Theatre, Royal Oak Music Theatre, Meymandi Concert Hall, Gwinnett Center for the Performing Arts, and many more.
Concert in Las Vegas:
On July 22 and 23, 2011, Bortnick made history at the Las Vegas Hilton as the youngest headliner ever in Las Vegas, at ten years of age. The Las Vegas Hilton Theater has a rich history of presenting such legendary icons as Elvis Presley who performed 837 sold-out shows, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow and Barbra Streisand. Bortnick made history again, performing 2 sold out concerts.
A review by the Las Vegas Sun said "Ethan Bortnick's show at the Hilton (on Friday) night was history-making. It was a sold-out crowd, and there was so much heart and soul, plus energy felt from the audience. It was a spectacular night, 90 minutes of pure entertainment."
Another review stated "...his performance was flawless..." and "Ethan's fingers seemed to fly across the piano's keyboard and the next moment after each number he got up to speak to his audience... Anyone who heard Ethan's music and did not know that the entertainer was only 10 years old would have thought he was an exceptionally talented adult pianist."
2nd PBS Special - Ethan Bortnick Live in Concert: The Power of Music:
Ethan recorded this concert before a live audience of over 2,000 people, accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra, a 4 piece band, along with 120 member Kids Choir and 3 background vocalists.
Presented by WTTW National Productions and distributed nationally by The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA).
Movies and film:
In September 2011, Bortnick finished filming a feature film entitled "Anything is Possible". Bortnick plays the leading role as Nathan, a young boy who's separated from his mother when she goes missing during a trip to Japan to help after the tsunami. The movie explores issues like homelessness, military family life and adoption.
Bortnick co-wrote the music with Grammy award winning songwriter and producer, Garry Baker, and his team Matthew Craig and Rob Collier. It has been reported that Ethan will also score the entire film.
Bortnick will become the youngest actor to co-write the soundtrack and play the leading role in a feature film.,
Co-stars include Fátima Ptacek, Lacey Chabert, Jonathan Bennett (actor), and Kym Whitley.
In August 2011, Bortnick recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, his first recorded album. The album is being produced by Grammy award winning songwriter and producer, Gary Baker, and his team Matthew Craig and Rob Collier. This album is the soundtrack to the film, Anything is Possible, where Bortnick plays the leading role.
Bortnick is the host of Melody Street, a 22-minute musical-variety-show for preschoolers. Bortnick and his five best friends, a band of animated musical instruments; Val Violin, Febe Flute, Timmy Trumpet, Heidi Horn and Sammy Snare, entertain kids with humor, songs, skits, interactive games, backstage dramas, celebrity musical guests, while teaching children about the beauty, joy and fun that stems from music.
On May 30, 2007, Bortnick opened Nelly Furtado's US tour at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. This was her first show in the United States on her tour.
On June 1, 2008, Bortnick performed a full concert with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, under the musical direction of Andrew Lane. He was 7 years old and was the youngest performer to ever perform as the piano soloist with the Naples Orchestra.
On October 4, 2008, Bortnick performed to raise money for the Miami Children's Hospital Foundation's Diamond Ball and Concert, featuring Beyoncé Knowles, Smokey Robinson, and Gloria Gaynor at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL. A record $12 million was raised for the Foundation.
On September 15, 2008, Bortnick became the youngest co-host for the Chabad Telethon. With Bortnick co-hosting this live telethon, seen by millions of viewers, the telethon raised a record $8 million in one night.
On October 23, 2008, Bortnick performed for OneXOne to help raise money to help fight hunger, health issues and preserve the lives of children locally and globally. Matt Damon held an auction at the event with Ethan and Josh Groban. Other performers and celebrities included Santana, David Arquette, Josh Groban, and Wyclef Jean.
On January 6, 2009, Bortnick performed at a dinner hosted by Nancy Pelosi to honor the swearing in of the 111th United States Congress. Bortnick was the only performer the entire night.
On January 10, 2009, and January 11, 2009, Bortnick performed with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra under the musical direction of Andrew Lane. He was 8 years old and was the youngest performer to ever perform as the piano soloist with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
On February 4, 2009, Bortnick performed at a fundraiser benefiting the Miami Children's Hospital Foundation with chef Emeril Lagasse. Bortnick performed a song he wrote for Lagasse entitled "Bam -- Kick It up a Notch" and presented the chef with the song's lyrics.
On February 16, 2009, Bortnick performed in Sydney, Australia. The reaction and reviews were extremely favorable, with reviews stating "Within minutes Ethan... had the audience laughing with his wit and sense of timing.... He has a unique mix of charisma, talent and good sense of humour, and therefore it was phenomenal to see someone of that age able to play piano with such skill and also entertain the crowd.."
On March 3, 2009, Bortnick performed with his friend Mark Rivera, who has been a featured member of Billy Joel's band since 1982 and has toured the world with John Lennon, Peter Gabriel, Simon & Garfunkel, The Eagles, and was Ringo Starr's musical director. Bortnick and Rivera performed, the day after the kickoff of Billy Joel's and Elton John's Face-to-Face Tour. The performance was in an inner city school to inspire young kids not to get discouraged and find their special gift to the world. The reviews of this performance were as follows: "Ethan stole the show. He's not only an exceptional musical prodigy, but he's charming and self assured. He easily established a rapport with his audience and told jokes. He had the... school students spellbound with his charisma and poise.... After a few minutes on stage, I didn't think of him as a kid but a very short adult. His adult body language is uncanny.... It was amazing to watch him play with those tiny hands, stretching to form the chords. But he does it with ease and advanced facility with style."
On March 27, 2009 and March 28, 2009, Bortnick performed at Muhammad Ali's event to help raise money in the fight against Parkinson's disease and other charities. This event was held over two nights. Bortnick performed both nights. Bortnick, after finding out about the event, composed and wrote a song for Muhammad Ali, entitled "The Champ". After performing the first night, Ali embraced Ethan and everyone began singing "The Champ" with Ethan on stage (unplanned). Forest Whitaker, Josh Groban, Reba McEntire, David Foster, Jordin Sparks and many others went on stage and sang this to Ali.
On April 27, 2009, Bortnick performed at a private event at the Fontainebleau Hotel backed by members of Billy Joel's band. Bortnick performed with Mark Rivera, Tommy Byrnes, Chuck Burgi, Andy Cichon, and David Rosenthal. Other performers that night included Howie Mandel and Katy Perry.
On May 18, 2009, Bortnick performed for the 18th annual Society of Singers Ella Awards, honoring Herb Alpert and Lani Hall.
On July 12, 2009, Bortnick opened for Sir Elton John, Gladys Knight and Tony Bennett. This event was to raise money for the Starkey Hearing Foundation and was hosted by Billy Crystal.
On September 13, 2009, Bortnick performed at a private dinner to help raise funds for OneXOne. In attendance were President Bill Clinton, Matt Damon, Elvis Costello and many others. At the event, President Clinton said, "Maybe if I get really lucky young Ethan Bortnick will play for me another song or two", which Bortnick did.
On September 16, 2009, Bortnick performed, as the sole entertainer, for the Annual Benefit Event of American Friends of Lubavitch, one of the premier evenings on the Washington Social calendar. Attendees included Ambassador Nancy Goodman Brinker,Congressman John Lewis, Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator Arlen Specter and many others. Reviews of Bortnick's performance said "... highlight of the evening was certainly the phenomenal entertainment by... Ethan Bortnick.... There wasn't a dry eye in the house when he dedicated "God Bless America"...."
On October 12, 2009, Bortnick was the headline performer at Nokia Theater at LA Live. He is the youngest performer, at 8 years old, to headline his own show at LA Live. His almost 2 hour show was backed by members of Billy Joel's band. Bortnick performed with Mark Rivera, Tommy Byrnes, Chuck Burgi, Andy Cichon, and David Rosenthal. Over 4,000 people were in attendance. This event was sponsored by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, and Ethan wrote a new composition for the group, which he performed, named "A Hug Song". The president of NAHC wrote a letter to Ethan with comments such as "..one of the best experiences of my life..", "your showmanship was second to none..","..could only be described as a tour de force..". The following day, as part of the NAHC events, Ethan dined with Colin Powell and a few other members of the NAHC.
On October 22, 2009, Bortnick performed for OneXOne to help raise money to help fight hunger, health issues and preserve the lives of children locally and globally. Ethan opened the show for such musical acts as Josh Groban, Santana, and Snow Patrol. During Ethan's performance, he dedicated a song he wrote, called "It's for the Kids". Others that enjoyed Ethan's performance were Charlize Theron, Jeremy Piven, Mia Hamm, Laila Ali and many more
On October 24, 2009. Bortnick opened for Josh Groban at a private event in San Francisco. Ethan performed for 45 minutes and then Josh performed.
On February 4, 2010, Bortnick opened for Jordin Sparks, Jason Derulo, Sam Moore, David Archuleta for a Super Bowl Party at Miami's Eden Roc Hotel, raising money for various children's charities.
on February 24, 2010, Bortnick performed at The Grammy Museum a solo show for students.
On April 16, 2010, Bortnick performed at the Children Mending Hearts Benefit. Joining Bortnick that evening were Ben Affleck, Five for Fighting, Aisha Tyler, Alyssa Milano and others.
On August 1, 2010, Bortnick performed live at the historic KCET studios during the pledge drive.
On November 13, 2010, Bortnick performed at the Delta Awards Ceremony for Children's Miracle Network. Ethan performed a song he wrote called "It's a Miracle".
On November 17, 2010, Bortnick performed in Sao Paulo, Brazil to a sold out crowd. Reviews were phenomenal in all Brazil media, including reviews such as "... the 9 year old piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick won the audience from the first moment, acting, playing and singing by himself.."
On November 27, 2010, Bortnick performed with Ben Folds and the Nashville Symphony to help raise funds for the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Ben Folds said, "Yes, Ethan has perfect pitch and photographic memory, has performed with some of the worlds finest, has a repertoire of over 200 songs as well as his own compositions all at the age of nine. But more than that I am struck by is his spirit - his natural wisdom and ability to inspire both musically and personally."
On December 9, 2010, Bortnick performed at the Haim Saban's IDF Fundraising dinner in Beverly Hills, opening for David Foster and Andrea Bocelli, with reviews that stated "But the most tender part of the night was when 9-year-old piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick took the stage to perform.."
On March 8, 2011, Bortnick performed at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to raise money for the Remax and Children's Miracle Network Auction. He raised $105,000 in less than 10 minutes, auctioning off 3 private concerts to the highest bidders. This was a record amount for this event.
On April 2, 2011, Bortnick performed a concert for the Larry King foundation. Bortnick opened for Mary J. Blige.
On April 11, 2011, Bortnick opened the 27th National Space Foundation Symposium. It was attended by over 9,000 people in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
On May 28, 2011, Bortnick was one of the headliners of the 2011 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. He performed two, standing room only, headline shows at the festival. Other headliners included Natalie Cole and Herbie Hancock
On August 23, 2011, Bortnick performed as the opening act for legendary songwriter and composer Marvin Hamlisch in Montreal, Canada.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license