Photographer: Jamie Chung for Bloomberg Pursuits
Music

Jeff Goldblum and the Life-Changing Magic of Playing the Piano

Play it again, Jeff!
From

Jeff Goldblum, professional smooth operator, started his onstage career as a piano player at seedy cocktail lounges in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He still practices an hour every day, sometimes commandeering the ivories in hotel lobbies to stay on top of his craft. On the heels of a three-month residency at Los Angeles club Rockwell, the 64-year-old actor discusses his lifelong musical passion.

LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 218 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jeff Goldblum plays the piano with Jimmy Fallon on March 29, 2010  (Photo by Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Jeff Goldblum plays the piano on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in 2010.

Photographer: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Practice, practice, practice

"I’ve been blessed with some biggish hands, but early on, I trained my left hand a bit harder. I would take my thumb and my pinkie, place them right below the keyboard, and stretch my finger and thumb against the keyboard, and do a split with my hand. It’s like hand acrobatics. I enjoy the feel of the keys. I’m tactual."

A Yamaha C6 grand piano, one of Goldblum's go-to instruments.

A Yamaha C6 grand piano, one of Goldblum's go-to instruments.

Source: Yamaha

His favorite instrument

"I have this baby grand Yamaha, which is fantastic. I keep it tuned constantly. [My son] Charlie enjoys it as well—he’ll sit on my lap and bang away on the keys. And I have a Yamaha C6, with a microphone set up around it. It’s the one that they have at the Carlyle as well. Everyone seems to love it, because it’s nice and bright for jazz."

A little help from his friends

"After I play some piano, I’m different for the rest of the day. It brings you into this community that you might not have anything in common with otherwise, and there is a way that you communicate with musicians that you can’t with anyone else. It’s changed my life. It’s a way to have a conversation that goes deep into the blood system."

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 03:  Actor Jeff Goldblum (L) and his wife Emilie Livingston (R) attend the "Me And Earl And The Dying Girl" premiere at The Harmony Gold Theatre on June 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Actor Jeff Goldblum and his wife Emilie Livingston.

Photographer: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Music and love

"My wife and I met at the gym, and I invited her to one of my gigs. That’s how it all happened. Her name is Emilie, so I sang Emily, that old standard, to her. At our wedding, I also played a little snippet from The Sound of Music—'Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good. I got quite choked up when I played that."

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