All Press Releases for February 17, 2005

Rocks Rising Star Wins National Championship

Rock Violinist/Singer/Songwriter - Antonio Pontarelli is NBC PAX \"America\'s Most Talented Kids\" Grand Champion

    / - LOS ANGELES, CA February 17, 2005 -- 13 year old rock prodigy, Antonio Pontarelli rocked his way to stardom Sunday by winning the "Tournament of Champions" of "America's Most Talented Kids". Antonio's technical virtuosity on the violin and smoky vocals mesmerized the audience with his arrangement of "All Along the Watchtower". He ignited the crowd from the very first note and held them captive until the end when he articulated licks with the power of a machine gun while on his back. The judges high fived each other and said that it was the most amazing act that they have ever seen. Daryl Sabara of "Spy Kids" affirmed "You are unparalleled, you are destined for stardom. I said it once and I'll say it again you ROCK"! The show which airs weekly brought back seven of their top winners of their season to compete on the most exciting talent contest to date. Antonio took all, winning $15,000.00 worth of prizes and the coveted title of Grand Champion.

Antonio who plays a 6-string fretted Viper violin that looks like a flying v guitar auditioned against thousands of kids nationwide. When casting heard his soulful fiery licks and saw his passionate engaging performance, he was immediately called for a spot on the show. When he won his first performance PAX ran commercials "What if Jimi Hendrix played the violin"?

Playing on the stage is not new for Antonio, who is the Concert Master of the San Diego Youth Symphony Symphonic Orchestra and a first violinist for the Young Musician's Foundation Debut Orchestra. He has performed jazz, classical and rock violin in concerts with many Grammy and Emmy winners including Mark O'Connor, Richie Cole (Manhattan Transfer), Marshall Hawkins (Miles Davis) and Mark Wood(Trans -Siberian Orchestra), as well as major orchestras such as the San Diego Symphony. He has recorded his pre-release "Under Age" and is currently collaborating as a rock violinist with major rock bands. Antonio also is a national 2004-2005 winner of the ASTA (America String Teachers Association) Alternative Styles Award

Antonio started playing violin when he was four and won his first violin competition when he was seven. When he was nine years old his dad was diagnosed with a serious form of leukemia with rather grim prognoses. Antonio, who has a deep belief in the power of music especially DNA Music, started writing music for his healing. Every day when he went to see his Dad he brought his violin and played a piece of it. There was never a doubt in his mind that his Dad would have a complete and total recovery and he has. Antonio was deeply inspired by this experience to create a foundation to fund projects that share his vision and bring music into people's lives.

Don't miss the encore performance Friday, February, 18th at 8PM EST on PAX where Antonio steals the heart of America and becomes the Grand Champion of "America's Most Talented Kids".

Additional information about Antonio including a preview video clip of the "Tournament of Champions" is published on his website;

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