Birch Bay boy featured on NBC's TODAY Show

Published on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 by Tara Nelson

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A Birch Bay boy will be featured in an upcoming interview on NBC’s “TODAY Show” this week after a long battle with chronic kidney failure in Children’s Hospital in Seattle.

Rishi Nair, 8, of Birch Bay, will be a guest on the show scheduled to air from 8 to 9 a.m. sometime between April 26 and April 29. Rishi, who has been called “musically gifted,” will appear along with Grammy award-winning composer and producer Mateo Messina.

The two performed a song they both composed titled "I Am" during a 2009 fundraising concert, “Symphony of the Superhero,” in which Rishi played the digereedoo, the Chinese hu lu shi and tablas, or Indian classical drums, for an audience of 800 to 1,000 people. The event raised more than $180,000 for Children’s Hospital in Seattle. This year’s performance, “Primal Symphony,” is scheduled for Friday, November 5 at Benaroya Hall, in Seattle, and will feature a silent auction, raffle and exciting, soon-to-be-named guest performers.

Each year the Guild produces an annual concert to raise funds for uncompensated care, which ensures no child in the region is ever denied medical treatment regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

“Each year I am humbled by the experience to plan, compose and perform in concerts that benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital," Messina said. "‘Symphony of the Superhero’ featuring Rishi, in 2009, was no exception.  Thanks to his talent and the help of more than 40 devoted volunteers and 800 attendees, we raised more than $180,000 for Seattle Children’s uncompensated care fund.”

The concert was Messina's 12th symphony with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra. He is an award winning composer from Seattle with a Grammy from the movie "Juno." He most recently created music for NBC's sitcom "The Office," and Up In The Air with George Clooney. He said his two favorite sounds in the world are the orchestra tuning and children's laughter.

Nair said Messina has inspired her son "a great deal" and that he is now composing his own music, adding that his piano teacher, Barbara Borries, said he has more compositions than titles. The latest piano piece is titled "Rebirth" as he is studying the Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo. He performed this piece on Sunday April 18 at the Amadeus Project in Bellingham. She added that Rishi now has a collection of instruments from Australian digereedoo,Chinese hu lu shi, Indian dholak and tabla, Wurlitzer piano, African djembe, Vietnamese dan trun truc- xylophone and an African rain stick.

In May, he has been asked to play with a Seattle band called Afraid of Figs at Big Al's Restaurant in Seattle. All proceeds will help Children's Hospital.

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