Pem­broke Pines prodigy, 11, set to play an ‘Evening of Beethoven’ in Aven­tura

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - THE GO GUIDE MUSIC - By Jen­nifer Boehm

Ja­cob Velazquez is not an av­er­age 11-year-old boy.

He’s been play­ing the pi­ano since he was 4 and was in the stu­dio record­ing his first al­bum by age 6.

Ja­cob has been on “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica,” per­formed with Harry Con­nick Jr. and even got a Twit­ter shout-out from Tay­lor Swift.

If this wasn’t ex­tra­or­di­nary by it­self, he’s been do­ing all this af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with autism at an early age.

Tina Velazquez, Ja­cob’s mom, re­cently told the Sun Sen­tinel that she be­lieves be­ing on the autism spec­trum gives Ja­cob a cer­tain “hy­per fo­cus” that helps him me­morize pieces so quickly and ef­fi­ciently.

“Af­ter learn­ing the score, he plays from mem­ory,” she said.

Ja­cob, who lives with his fam­ily in Pem­broke Pines, isn’t slow­ing down. He’s taught him­self to play the drums and en­cour­ages oth­ers, say­ing, “Just be­cause you have autism, doesn’t mean you aren’t ca­pa­ble of great things!”

Ja­cob will be bring­ing his tal­ents to the Aven­tura Arts & Cul­tural Cen­ter, 3385 NE188th St., per­form­ing a solo con­cert on Jan. 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

The per­for­mance will ben­e­fit The Vic­tory Cen­ter, a re­source cen­ter that fo­cuses on in­di­vidu- al­ized treat­ment and pro­vides in­ten­sive ther­apy for those on the autism spec­trum.

Tick­ets range in price from $40-$60 and can be pur­chased at aven­tu­ra­cen­


Ja­cob Velazquez, 11, of Pem­broke Pines, will show off his pi­ano skills dur­ing a solo per­for­mance at the Aven­tura Arts & Cul­tural Cen­ter.

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