Is 18-Year-Old Guitarist Marcin Patrzalek The Second Coming Of Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix?

ByQuyen Anne

Nov 14, 2023

“I think you have a shot to win this whole thing,” Julianne Hough remarked after the performance.

In the world of six-string axe-wielders, Polish teen Marcin Patrzalek is recognized as a star-in-waiting.

On Tuesday night, the guitarist made his grand entrance into the mainstream with a technically-stunning performance on America’s Got Talent.

At the age of just 18, Patrzalek is renowned for his classical and flamenco talents, which he makes his own by turning his guitar into a percussion instrument.

On AGT, Patrzalek’s fingers flew faster than a hawk, for a fingerstyle masterclass loaded with Latin spirit, beats and tapping.

The youngster blew away the NBC show’s judges. “I mean, rock star,” enthused Gabrielle Union. “You are unique and dynamic and explosive and you did not disappoint. Way to go.”

Simon Cowell remarked, “The fact you got the reaction you just got without anything around you, other than just you and the guitar and a couple of wires, really tells us what an amazing talent you have.” In terms of musicianship, noted Cowell, Patrzalek is “one of the best I’ve ever heard.”

Fellow judge Julianne Hough wasn’t afraid to admit, “I think you have a shot to win this whole thing.”

Patrzalek is no stranger to the bright lights of reality TV. At age 13, he won the Polish TV talent show Must Be The Music in 2013 and last year took out Italy’s talent quest Tu Si Que Vales.

Also last year, he dropped an EP titled revAMP, the follow up to his debut 2016 album HUSH, comprised of six original works and four covers.

“Most people see the world, but I hear it,” declared Marcin Patrzalek, an 18-year-old experimental guitarist, before stepping out on the Dolby Theatre stage during the live Quarterfinals 3 episode of “America’s Got Talent.” After his truly original take on both “Misirlou” and “Paganini,” the Polish entertainer received one of the best compliments ever when judge Gabrielle Union compared him to some of the greats like Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix. Did Marcin do enough to advance to the Semifinals? Watch the “AGT” performance video above, read the judges’ comments below and then make your predictions.

Gabrielle Union: “Man, I’m blown away. This is what I imagine our parents and our grandparents felt when they first heard Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. What Marcin is doing is revolutionizing the guitar for a whole new generation. You are such a rock star. I cannot wait to see you in concert. You are absolutely amazing.”

Julianne Hough: “I mean, like my body is just wanting to move! I’m serious, I just want to do flamenco and paso doble. I hear music and all of a sudden I see an entire visual of what a dance could be. So what you do is so important because you create what other creators pull from. That was so special. That is artistry at its finest.”

Simon Cowell: “That’s a weird compliment. I have no idea what that meant. I think technically, you are without question one of the most talented people we’ve ever had on these shows, ever. My only advice would be, Marcin, I would have stuck with the white background, it was more dramatic. The song to me was all over the place. But with the right song, with this ability and your stage presence, you’re a contender.”

Howie Mandel: “Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like that before. You are like a one-man band. You’re the rhythm section, you’re the guitar player, you’re the bass, you’re everything. Have you ever thought about the tambourine?”

In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “Marcin Patrzalek was feeling the pressure heading in to his guitar solo knowing that his act is far different from any of the others. The risk in Marcin’s performance was that he just played the guitar for two minutes without any other theatrics on stage to diversify. And yet the judges were floored by him, giving him a standing ovation and even comparing him to legends like Carlos Santana and saying that he’s ‘revolutionizing’ guitar playing for a new generation.”

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