The Piano Guys to bring familiar favorites, original material to Cedar City

The Piano Guys play to a sold out audience at Tuacahn Ampitheatre, Ivins, Utah, Oct. 22, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

CEDAR CITY — The Piano Guys, a group that had their beginnings at a St. George piano store of the same name, will bring their unique brand of entertainment to Cedar City’s America First Credit Union Event Center (formerly Centrum Arena) on Feb. 8.

Cedar City is such a fun crowd, with a lot of energy,” Paul Anderson, a member of the four-man group, told St. George News by phone Wednesday.

Since their founding in 2011, The Piano Guys have gained a worldwide following, with more than 1.6 million followers on Facebook and nearly 6 million subscribers on their YouTube channel.

L-R: Al van der Beek, Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson and Paul Anderson, location and date not specified | Publicity photo courtesy of The Piano Guys, St. George News / Cedar City News

The group features the formidable musical talents of Jon Schmidt on piano and Steven Sharp Nelson on cello, with producers Anderson and Al van der Beek collaborating behind the scenes and sometimes joining Schmidt and Nelson on stage.

Anderson, who is also the group’s chief videographer, said the group is continually striving to find ways to connect their music with visual elements. They are frequently inspired by Southern Utah’s stunning landscapes.

“It’s just so gorgeous everywhere you go,” Anderson said.

The group is well-known for its diverse mix of modern popular songs and classical favorites, often mashed together with unexpected results.

“We do a wide variety of music,” he said. “We have people in our audiences ranging from 3 years old to 93.”

The group’s concerts typically feature a blend of familiar favorites and newer original material, Anderson said, adding that the group continually strives to connect with its audiences on a personal level.

There’s laughter, there’s crying. There’s a wide range of emotions,” he said.

The group has made dozens of videos, each of which has been seen by millions. Many of the videos were filmed in unusual or scenic places, such as at the edge of a cliff, on a flatbed train car or in a snowy meadow.

One stunning video called “Berlin” was filmed on the streets of the German city, with Nelson playing multiple cello parts, punctuated by the percussion of his kick drum.

In another recent video, “I Saw Three Ships,” Schmidt plays a grand piano outside in the darkness, energetically activating a half million Christmas lights as he moves through the song.

Another popular Piano Guys video, “The Sweetest Gift,” is a heartfelt Christmas tune dedicated to those who’ve lost loved ones. The song and video, which feature guest vocalist Craig Aven, were created as a tribute to Schmidt’s daughter Annie, who died in a hiking accident in 2016.

The Piano Guys, who performed at the Lincoln Memorial in connection with President Donald Trump’s inauguration last January, later played in several foreign countries in 2017. This year, they are scheduled to tour throughout several parts of the United States, with a number of dates and venues already announced for this spring and summer.

Event details

  • What: The Piano Guys live in concert.
  • When: Thursday, Feb. 8, at 8 p.m.
  • Where: Southern Utah University’s America First Event Center (formerly the Centrum Arena), Cedar City.
  • Tickets: Most seats range from $45-$55, but SUU students may purchase up to two discount tickets for $30 each with valid student ID. Purchase tickets online or by calling 435-586-7872.

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Twitter: @STGnews

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