An Interview with Keith Emerson’s Son, Aaron Emerson, and Grandson, Ethan Emerson
Interview with Aaron Emerson, Keith Emerson’s son, at the LoFaro Center of The Performing Arts, March 15, 2019.
Interview with Ethan Emerson, Keith Emerson’s grandson, at the LoFaro Center of The Performing Arts, March 15, 2019.
Aaron Emerson and his son, Ethan Emerson, held a tribute to their father/grandfather, Keith Emerson, where they performed music, shared personal stories and engaged in a question & answer with the audience.
In a quaint home and art studio in Henniker, New Hampshire, Jerry and Kathleen LoFaro hosted Keith Emerson’s son, Aaron, and grandson, Ethan, for a tribute to probably the most influential keyboardist in rock history. I was very honored to not only attend, but also help produce a tribute video for Keith that was played at the event, and also interview both Aaron and Ethan on camera.
It turns out this was both Aaron’s and Ethan’s first on-camera interview – but you would never know it. Both Emerson’s exhibited poise and good humor during their interviews. I was particularly impressed with Ethan. His mom, Jo, told me that this 13 year old flips a switch when he’s ready to perform, and becomes quite the showman. True to form, not only was he the consummate professional on camera, but Ethan was very good with engaging the audience during the concert.
This was Aaron and Ethan Emerson’s First On-Camera Interview
The tribute video for Keith Emerson was a whirlwind to put together and, at times, very surreal. Jerry LoFaro and his various contacts were able to surprise Aaron and Ethan with video well wishes from close friends of the family, including highly regarded musicians such as Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes, Jordan Rudess and Steve Hackett.
It felt like an out-of-body experience watching these luminaries from the music industry give such personal messages.
Jerry had the concert filmed so I asked him to have the video production team also film the audience reaction during the playing of the tribute video. In particular, I wanted to make sure there was a camera on the Emerson’s. The tribute video available on line is a compilation of both the tribute video and the audience watching it in real time. I think this makes a more powerful presentation, allowing the viewer to feel more like they were a part of the event, and experience the true emotion in the room.
The Keith Emerson tribute video included well wishes from Rick Wakeman, Geoff Downes, Jordan Rudess and Steve Hackett
The evening was magical. A lot of love and respect for Keith, Aaron and Ethan. Everyone was excited to see them keep the Emerson spirit alive.
A Magical Evening
Aaron Emerson told me later that this tribute actually touched him deeper than the 2017 concert held to celebrate his father in Birmingham featuring an all-star lineup of musicians. He said this event felt very personal and quite moving.
The concert portion of the evening was pure joy. Aaron played a keen variation on “Fanfare for the Common Man,” while Ethan tackled many Keith Emerson originals. But the audience melted when Ethan started playing the opening notes to “Trilogy.” I can’t imagine what an audience would do when they hear Ethan one day play the opening to “Karn Evil 9.”
A Big Thank You
I have to thank my wonderful friends Jerry and Kathleen LoFaro for hosting this house concert. As always, their incredible generosity and genuine warmth is truly inspirational.
The Keith Emerson tribute video.