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Violinist Brianna Kahane Wows Crowd at 10th Annual Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala


ST. PAUL, Minn., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1,400 supporters packed the RiverCentre ballroom for the 10th Annual Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala in St. Paul Sunday night for a truly unforgettable evening of entertainment, inspiration and charity.

Master of Ceremonies, comedian Norm Crosby, presided over the event that featured special honors for Sam Moore, Muhammad Ali, Steve Martin, Brad and Janet Anderson and Harvey Mackay.

Eight-year-old violinist Brianna Kahane opened the event performing a captivating 30-minute solo set – on a mere 1/4-size violin – including everything from "Csardas" by V. Monti to a medley of "Over the Rainbow" and Queen's classic "Bohemian Rhapsody." This, coupled with her performance – donning a pair of dark shades – to a standing ovation with legendary Sam Moore on his Grammy-winning classic "Soul Man," helped the event raise a record $7.5 million to further advance the foundation's goal to fit every financially needy child and adult in the world with a hearing aid.

Former President Bill Clinton, keynote speaker and special guest at the gala, opened his remarks rubbing his forehead in disbelief following Brianna's performance saying, "Wow.... If I could have played saxophone the way Brianna plays violin, I'd have gone into a different line of work." President Clinton went on to tell an admiring crowd that he was thrilled to have the opportunity to see and hear the legendary Sam Moore perform "Soul Man" one more time, fondly reflecting on his love for Sam and his classic tune.

President Clinton came to the event to honor philanthropists Bill and Tani Austin, and delivered a riveting speech about the importance of the work done by Starkey Hearing Foundation and the role it plays to better the lives of people all around the world.

The star-studded charity event was also attended by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Grammy-nominated, platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks, Magic Johnson, "Extreme Home Makeover" host Paige Hemmis, The Canadian Tenors, The Doobie Brothers, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Astronauts Charlie Duke and Scott Carpenter, Actors Christopher and Kyle Massey and Lou Ferrigno, first female NBA coach Nancy Lieberman, Senator Amy Klobuchar, NFL's Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Roy Williams (Dallas Cowboys), Brad Childress, Steve Hutchinson and Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) and Yankees' pitcher Dennis Rasmussen, among many others.

About Brianna Kahane

Labeled a "prodigy" by The Washington Post, eight-year-old violinist Brianna Kahane has been playing the violin for only four years. Her accomplishments in that short amount of time, and at such a young age, however, are breathtaking. Brianna was recently profiled on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and was hailed by Grammy award winner and hit songwriter David Foster as "one of the next big talents."

Brianna maintains an extensive repertoire of both classical and popular pieces, and is extremely passionate about using her talent to help others in any way she can. Considered one of the world's youngest philanthropists, Brianna is trying to heal the world one song at a time. She has donated her talent to help raise millions of dollars for countless charities this year alone that have touched her heart, and also initiated the "Bring Music Back to Haiti" relief effort to help in the reconstruction of one of Haiti's only music schools which collapsed in the devastating earthquake. To continue helping people with her music, Brianna has started her own foundation – The Brianna Kahane Charitable Foundation – of which she is very proud.

With her photographic memory, amazing ear, finger dexterity far beyond her years and perfect pitch, Brianna easily commits to memory and performs lengthy and complex violin pieces in a very short period of time. Brianna produces beautiful tones delivered with meticulous intonation and an amazing sense of musicality, and she is a natural performer, bringing both passion and deep emotion to her music so it becomes vibrant and alive for her audiences. Often bringing tears to people's eyes with her brilliant performances and extraordinary talent, audiences revel in sheer delight. Brianna is a poised and talented violin soloist at just eight years of age.

Victoria Varela
Varela Media
Direct: (917) 250-2110
Email: VictoriaVarela@VarelaMedia.com