Jazz prodigy Adam Platt -- The 13-year-old musician on Thelonious Monk, magic, and his future plans

By Leonard Feather
Updated August 19, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

He’ll be starting seventh grade this month, but musically, 13-year-old Adam Platt is up there with the seniors. Platt, of Bozeman, Mont., won a Student Music Award from Down Beat magazine in May, and he earned a standing ovation for a bebop duet with vibes great Lionel Hampton last January.

Q: How did you get started in music?
A: I was exposed to jazz early, as my dad has a great CD collection. I began playing (piano) at around 4, and started taking lessons when I was 5. I like classical, I like some rock, but my main influence has been Thelonious Monk.

Q: What are your other interests?
A: I like to do what a lot of other kids in Bozeman want to do. I like to ski; I like to do magic tricks. Piano isn’t my entire life.

Q: Are you set on music as a full-time career? A: I honestly haven’t made up my mind. Give me a break — I’m only 13, you know!