Brandon Niederauer plays Zack in School of Rock – The Musical eight times a week. But the twelve-year-old is no newcomer to the world of performing—he made a name for himself as a guitar prodigy before he ever took the stage at the Winter Garden Theatre. The young shredder has played on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and jammed with Buddy Guy, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Robert Randolph, The Neville Brothers, Scorpions, members of the Allman Brothers Band and many other rockers of renown.
It was more than appropriate, then, that Niederauer took the stage during the August 17 matinee curtain call to celebrate an unforgettable moment in rock history—the August 18 anniversary of Jimi Hendrix’s sizzling and surreal performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock. Derided at the time as unpatriotic, Hendrix's take on the national anthem has since become a cultural touchstone of artistic expression. Niederauer had the audience calling for more as he dazzled with a version of the Hendrix jam and demonstrated his axe-wielding expertise.
Watch the School of Rock kids (along with their fearless leader Alex Brightman) tear up “Teacher’s Pet” on toy instruments.