My telephone rang at 9:30 a.m. and I wondered who was calling me so early. Everyone I know understands not to call me before 10. Recognizing the number, however, I answered. It was Robert Matt, Germany’s most requested star pianist for popular music. “David, excuse my early call, but I’m flying in one hour. I wanted to alert you that I’ve given your number to a young singer named Ben Jaimen. He’s going to call you.”
Ben arrived for our scheduled appointment on January 26, 2010. Extremely thin, he had a very interesting sense of style. Perhaps his living between Israel, London and Berlin had something to do with it. A singer/songwriter, his talent was indisputable.
“You’re singing way too hard. We must soften your approach and style,” I said. He, and his voice, reminded me of Michael Franks, the legendary jazz singer. Ben, however, had another model in mind. His idol, Michael Jackson, had influenced his every move and manner of performance.
Ben had to work hard to find his own voice. Unlike the typical male artist, he was totally open to learning new ways, and he showed his seriousness by having lessons with me three times a week for that entire year.
By December 31, 2010, it was clear Ben had been successful. Standing before 1 million viewers at the Berlin “Brandenburger Tor,” he was nervous, but he had dreamed of this, and he gave the show of his life. He’d been chosen to open the world’s biggest New Year’s Party. Along with all the people present in Berlin, that evening’s television audience made him an overnight sensation.
I observed the whole thing like a proud papa, my face glowing with pleasure.
His take on the matter: “That was the most amazing performance I have ever had.”
“Actually,” I said, “it is the first professional performance you’ve had, and it was great!”