Guitar prodigy Andreas Varady (15) to play at Quincy Jones's birthday bash in Las Vegas
He is a 15-year-old guitar prodigy who has yet to sit his Junior Cert, but this weekend will play at Quincy Jones's 80th birthday bash in Las Vegas in the company of some of the world's biggest stars.
Andreas Varady, who lives in Limerick and goes to St Nessan's school in the city, will this weekend perform at the 'Thriller' producer's birthday party in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, surrounded by Stevie Wonder, Bono and Barbra Streisand.
Andreas, who is Slovakian but has lived with his family in Limerick for the past six years, signed to Jones's management company in January.
He was invited to perform at the glittering bash this weekend by the producer, who has been nominated for a whopping 79 Grammy awards.
Andreas said he was "very excited" to be jetting off to the States, where he will also meet a record company to discuss contracts.
"There are two parties, on Friday and Saturday, and I am going to play at both, which is really cool," said the diminutive guitar player, who will travel with dad Bandi and mum Beata to America.
"There is going to be a load of people like Stevie Wonder, Whoopi Goldberg -- I am very excited," grinned Andreas, who performs regularly with his father on bass and top drummer David Lyttle. "I wrote him a tune for his birthday, so that is what I am going to play -- I thought I would just call it 'Quincy'," said Andreas, who turns 16 in July and is a keen jazz fan, numbering Louis Stewart, George Benson and Martin Taylor among his favourite musicians.
The guitar ace, who says he likes "all kinds of music, but jazz is my favourite", was invited over to the Montreux Jazz Festival last summer by Jones, who was shown an internet video of Varady performing by festival founder Claude Nobs, who died in January.
"We met and talked and he liked me," said Andreas. "He is a very nice guy, he is fun. We only just signed a contract recently, so I am looking forward to the stuff we are going to do together."