MIAMI (CBSMiami) – What a year indoors it has been for piano prodigy Jacob Velazquez as he has developed an incredible musical touch.
“I like to listen to metal music, classic rock, I like blues, I like Metallica a lot. I also like The Red-Hot Chili Peppers,” said Velazquez.READ MORE: New Study Shows Air Pollution Worse Than Scientists Thought
He showed CBS4 some of his mad skills on the bass and each of the other six instruments he taught himself in the last year.
During quarantine, he also learned guitar, cello, saxophone, harmonica, and ukulele.
Up until recently, he has been known for his accomplished piano skills at an incredibly young age.
“I was playing the piano when I was three years old. I was watching my dad Willy play, and I was kind of watching him play, and then the next day my mom heard someone playing the piano and she thought to herself ‘When did Willy get home?’,” Velazquez recalled.
Then, a couple of years ago, he expanded into drums, starting with a toy drum set and self-guided tutorials with expert drummers on YouTube.
His parents recognized his talent early on and support him completely. It has been quite a journey considering at four years old, they weren’t sure what his future looked like.
“I have a form of autism it’s called PPDNOS, (Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified). You know, it’s basically like Asperger’s with the speech delay. I was diagnosed with that when I was about four years old. I had to have a lot of therapy to come to where I am now,” Velazquez said.READ MORE: Dramatic Drop In COVID Patients At South Florida Hospitals
Where he is now, includes national TV appearances, a major talent show, recorded albums, and a YouTube channel. He has also shared the stage, live and virtually, with some big names.
“I’ve gotten to perform on stage with Harry Connick Jr., I played piano and drums. I also got to perform on his Harry Connick Jr. Show,” he said.
Recently, through social media, he got to play, virtually, alongside guitar great, uber crooner, John Mayer.
Velazquez also loves sharing his gift to help organizations he relates to, like The Friendship Circle and Stand 4 Kind which promotes anti-bullying.
“I like working with organizations, not only to meet other people but I also get to spread a positive message,” he said.
From piano prodigy to one-man band, he is quite impressive and motivating.
“What I always try to tell people – keep striving towards your dream, whatever you have a passion for.”MORE NEWS: Cuban Leader Miguel Diaz Canel Blasts US At UN General Assembly