Young Pianist Draws Crowds on Subway, Eyes Juilliard

Sunday, Jun 12, 2011  |  Updated 11:54 AM EDT
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Young Pianist Draws Crowds on Subway, Eyes Juilliard

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Hungry? The Taste of Times Square may not have the culinary pedigree of other NYC food fests, but it's still a fun take-in.

Thirteen-year-old Jason Cordero has been impressing subway riders with his piano talent for almost two years -- and he's hoping he'll be able to similarly wow his way into Juilliard one day.

The Daily News caught up with the Queens teen who says he's been playing piano ever since his father got him a toy keyboard for a birthday.

Now, every Sunday, Cordero takes to the 42nd Street subway station to play classical pieces on his Casio Privia, including Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin.

"It's kind of like you go to a different world -- the music world," Cordero told the News. "Sometimes I totally forget that I'm in the subway. When I lift up, I'm like, 'Oh, here I am!'"

The son of Ecuadoran immigrants, Cordero regularly plays for Saturday services at the family's Seventh Day Adventist church in Corona. He's been taking lessons from the church's pain pianist since he was 7 and playing underground since he was 11, the Daily News said.

Cordero has used the money he gets from pleased listeners to buy a digital camera, a scooter and a computer -- and he's saving up for college, too.

He and his family are hoping his hard work will eventually get him to Juilliard.

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