During this season of the year the focus is often on giving/gifts. I often pause to consider what an incredible gift music is and how it continually gives to our soul. First I’d like take give a major shout to Liz Patrick Chicco a friend of mine from elementary school who made me aware of this fantastic young man Austin Crum, who is playing a gang of guitar at the age of 14. Austin hails from The Volunteer State and I cannot tell you how it warms my heart to hear someone this young play this “grown”.

When I was mentioned to my colleagues here at GFM that I would be doing a post on a 14 year old guitar wunderkind I qualified my intentions by stating “You don’t have to be old to be grown!” also, to be perfectly honest I believe the converse is true: “You don’t have to be young to be juvenile!”

Nevertheless, what I would like to see happen is a conversation started a sharing if you will whereby my friend Liz told me about this great talent and now I’m telling you and it spreads from there. I liken it to the gift/giving in deed and not just words. I would say that I’m just as guilty as anyone by often painting young people with a broadstroke brush. But if we were honest we would admit that our statements are often colored by what we’re programmed by and that the pop culture machine is an outlet that we should take time to unplug from and realize that there are amazing young people playing fantastic music like Austin Crum around the world and it is this sound that needs to be amplified to provide a balanced view to what we are inundated with on the daily.

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Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.