Then 12-year old Maxwell Friedman astonished the TEDxBend audience in 2016 with his musical prowess. As a self-proclaimed “spirited child”, Friedman used to spend much of his school time in the principal’s office – until he discovered music and the keyboard. Just a few short years later, he, and his mentor Georges Bouhey, jammed on stage for our audience of 1,400 people. And he felt…“amazing,” he said. “The fact that I got to go on stage with my mentor and speak in front of a full auditorium about what I love and how it all started was a great experience.”
Ever since then, Friedman has definitely been a developing talent to know and watch. “Because of TEDxBend, a lot of new opportunities opened up,” he said. As a direct result of someone watching him at TEDx, he was invited to play at Crux, he also attended the University of Oregon Jazz Camp, and more recently was asked to play with famed Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. He’s traveling to San Francisco over spring break to record some original songs at Hyde Street Studios, where the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and many other brilliant talents have recorded. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the confidence I got at TEDxBend and that support from the community that they love me and like what I’m doing,” he said.
Now when Friedman isn’t doing music, he’s doing what most teenagers do – hanging out, having fun, and, of course, doing schoolwork. But, he said, music is there to make sure he doesn’t get too sidetracked and stays grounded. One day, he dreams of performing for and inspiring people around the country and maybe even the world with his music. And we, the TEDxBend community, are definitely dreaming for that right there along with him.