That boy sure can play! 

Rock prodigy Danny Sveinson to close Saturday night gala


Who: Danny Sveinson

What: DKNY//Jeans Outdoor Concert Series

Where: Whistler Village — main stage

When: Saturday, April 24

At six years old, Danny Sveinson discovered rocks.

"He’s always been a smart kid," remarks his father, Darwin.

It’s a bit of an understatement. Danny researched rocks and minerals tirelessly, then composed seminars complete with Q&A sessions and handouts. Reading at an advanced level, the kid’s infoquest led him to university geology textbooks, which introduced him to the concept of blasting in order to access mineral veins.

TNT. Dynamite. What a concept!

He brought it up with Dad, who couldn’t help humming the AC/DC tune of the same name.

Of course, when you’re a six-year-old boy, any song that has to do with dynamite is automatically cool. AC/DC made an instant fan that day and Darwin picked up the CD for his son when he had the chance.

As soon as he heard the real thing, Danny Sveinson discovered rock.

But the precocious youngster wasn’t content to just listen.

"When I played that song for him, I turned on a switch somewhere in his head," Darwin recalls from the family’s home in Surrey. "From that moment, honest, you could see something go on with this kid."

Danny begged his parents to get him an electric guitar. A year and a half passed before they acquiesced, fully believing their son would learn to strum a few chords and eventually leave it behind in pursuit of his next childhood fancy.

But Danny didn’t leave it behind. Instead he took to it like oxygen, absorbing the styles and techniques of rock greats like Jimi Hendrix, Alex Lifeson, Angus Young and others he researched on the Internet.

"He never grew tired of it," says Darwin, "he just exploded with it."

That Halloween Danny went as Angus Young with his guitar in hand and his small amp strapped to his belt. When the doorbell rang, instead of trick or treat he rocked out an AC/DC riff. The kid came away with a payload of candy – the equivalent of groupie action if you haven’t discovered girls yet – and it became even more obvious the guitar thing was not going to go away.

Piano prodigies are a dime a dozen but electric guitar prodigies are a rarer breed. As box office receipts for the recent Hollywood mega-hit film School of Rock showed, there’s nothing cooler than a kid who can play guitar solos.

But what makes Danny Sveinson so exceptional is that not only can he throw down imitations of the greats at will, he also composes his own instrumentals built on original riffs.

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