Keith Emerson 2017 Tribute Features Grandson and Wakeman

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A concert billed as Keith Emerson: A Musical Celebration of His Life was held in Birmingham, England’s Symphony Hall on July 28 2017, to feature music by the Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboard virtuoso and performed by “the people who featured in his life.” Emerson, born on November 2, 1944, died March 11, 2016.

The event included a symphony orchestra and fellow progressive rock giant Rick Wakeman. But the evening’s surprise highlight was a performance by Emerson’s 11-year-old grandson, Ethan. (Watch him below.)

Wakeman spoke fondly about his longtime friend. “Keith and I go back a long way and I genuinely have wonderful memories of times we spent together and times I watched him play.” Wakeman noted that “one of his deepest regrets” was that the pair never recorded together. “He will remain in my heart forever.”

Watch Wakeman perform Emerson’s “Endless Enigma” from ELP’s Trilogy album at the event

Watch a 60-piece orchestra perform with American musician Rachel Flowers, who lost her eyesight as an infant

Emerson’s son, Aaron, wrote on his Facebook page: “I cannot even put into words how blown away, proud, overwhelmed, terrified, emotional and ecstatic I was last night when my son Ethan walked on stage, sat at the concert piano and played ‘The Dreamer’ written by my father, along with a 60 piece orchestra. Not only did he do that at 11 years old, but he was just perfect. This boy astounds me daily with his utter strength and determination, and I cannot tell you how immensely proud both me and my wife are of him.”

Several days after the performance, young Ethan wrote, “I was so proud to be asked to play. This was not only for my grandad KEITH EMERSON, but also for my other grandfather, or Gar as we call him, Bob Netley, who we lost very suddenly only 2 weeks ago. He was so looking forward to seeing me perform, so this is for you Gar.”

Watch young Ethan and be prepared to be seriously blown away

Talent on the keyboards clearly runs in the family.

Best Classic Bands Staff

3 Comments so far

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  1. Jack
    #1 Jack 31 July, 2017, 01:03

    Wow!!! The apple certainly doesn’t fall far from the tree in the Emerson family. Quite a performance by Keith’s young grandson, Ethan. I’m sure there was a proud grandfather smiling down from above. What a bittersweet evening that must have been for Keith’s son, Aaron. To be so, so proud of your son’s performance but have it be at a tribute show for your father. It’s truly a shame that Ethan’s grandfather wasn’t there. However, talent like that doesn’t develope overnight, I’m sure Keith saw the natural talent in his grandson. Man, you’ve got to love genetics! Best wishes for future happiness and success for the remaining Emersons!

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  2. Veronica
    #2 Veronica 1 August, 2017, 05:25

    Rick Wakeman was playing so beautifully his piano variations on “Trilogy ” by ELP and “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky . I think I heard another piece in there as well but I’m not sure what it was . Rest in heaven Maestro Keith Emerson.

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  3. T2dadog
    #3 T2dadog 13 August, 2022, 07:31

    I saw Keith Emerson do somersaults with his grand piano in concert one night in the early seventies.

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