Bolivian child musical prodigy shines in Washington DC

A nine-year-old Bolivian child prodigy, who also happens to be blind, captivates crowds during a performance at the World Bank in Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA (MARCH 19, 2015) (REUTERS) – Musical prodigy Jose Andre Montano got an early birthday present on Thursday (March 19) when he received a standing ovation for his piano performance in the U.S. capital, Washington D.C.

Performing to a capacity crowd at the World Bank’s Preston auditorium, Montano, who celebrates his 10th birthday on Friday (March 20), dazzled as he played classic jazz standards with local musicians.

Montano is a rising star in Bolivia’s music scene, but the promising jazz musician isn’t a typical rockstar — he is completely blind.

At the young age of four, this musical wonder picked up the drums with astonishing proficiency and quickly moved on to the piano. By age five, he had already formed a jazz trio.

Montano has performed in some of the top venues in Bolivia, including the Legislative Palace, and with famous musicians like Bolivian rocker Glen Vargas, but playing the U.S. capital has been a highlight for the child prodigy.

“It was great news. It gave me tremendous happiness to perform here in Washington, in the capital of the United States. It’s something that I cannot believe and I feel very happy to have come here to the United States and had such nice experiences,” he said.

Like most children his age, Montano attends primary school and is from the Bolivian city of Cochabamba. But his days are also filled with piano practice, something most children taking piano lessons avoid.

Montano offered those children some advice, saying the key to success is taking your dreams seriously and working hard to achieve them.

“So that they can achieve their dreams, the children of the world should put in a lot of effort, dedicate themselves to their work, the should make the effort, they should talk a lot, have faith in God, be happy in their lives, that is how they can achieve their dreams. If they don’t do these things then it will not happen,” he said.

Apart from being able to play any jazz song in the book with alarming ease and style, this Bolivian child prodigy has well-rounded musical taste and isn’t limited to jazz.

There doesn’t seem to be much stopping this gifted young musician, and Bolivia and the rest of the world can expect to hear more of his scintillating sounds in the future.

Montano was performing at the World Bank as part of the regional Road to Lima 2015 which aims to promote the culture and society of Latin America.