Child prodigy to play Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield

Ethan Bortnick, 8, has had his share of remarkable experiences. He’s played piano on The Tonight Show three times, chatted up Oprah and was the opening act for Beyonce. But none of those things inspired him to make a career in the music business.

“I want to be a zoo keeper,” said Ethan, in a telephone interview Thursday. “I’ll play music for the animals. They like it you know. It makes them happy.”

He made the startling discovery two weeks ago while seranading a koala bear in Australia.

“He started looking right at me, like I was a koala bear too.`” said Ethan. “I was playing jazz for him.”

Ethan was talking from his Hollywood, Florida home.

“He’s a very nice guy,” he said, of commedian Jay Leno. “He gave me a back pack I use for school. All the kids ask me, and I tell them Jay gave it to me. Now everyone in school says hi to me.”

Ethan is scheduled to arrive today before his special concert Saturday at Shenandoah Country Club in West Bloomfield.

“I’m very excited to do it,” said Ethan.

The last time he was in Michigan a great blizzard raged. But it was 85 degrees in Florida Thursday, and the piano prodigy seemed somewhat disappointed he wouldn’t be seeing snow on this trip north. Nevertheless, he expected to have fun.
“If I make a small mistake, I keep going,” he said. “If I miss a bunch of notes in a row that means I have to think about the song again.”

The concert was organized to raise money for the Chaldean Federation of America.
The non-profit organization sponsors the Adopt-A-Refugee Family program for the vulnerable Iraqi families.

“Chaldeans seeking refugee do not have militia to protect them in Iraq” says Joseph T. Kassab Executive Director of the Chaldean Federation of America that represents more than 1 million Iraqi Christians, “they do not have privet guards to protect them. The government of Iraq is unable to protect them because it is unable to protect itself. These people are peace-loving people who do not carry arms.”

Event Tickets, $250 each or $2,000 for a table of 10, may be obtained/reserved by calling CFA offices at (248) 851-3023. Event Co-Chairpersons are Anmar K. Sarafa, President of Steward Capital Management of Birmingham, MI and John Oram, representing Pro Care Plus Co.