We’re fairly certain that everybody watched Glee for at least two seasons before we even knew that the dude who plays piano for the New Directions even had a name. (It’s Brad, by the way.) We mean, how would anybody even know what his name is? He NEVER talks.
Until tonight, that is. Brad the Piano Guy finally spoke in Season 4, Episode 9: “Swan Song.” Now that Brad have broken his silence, let’s get to know the guy behind the guy behind the piano, real-life pianist Brad Ellis.
Brad studied music at the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he got to learn from renowned faculty — including jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, who took Brad out on the road along with some other talented students. It took Brad a long time to complete his degree due to frequent breaks for professional music gigs. “At Berklee, getting a gig and dropping out was a good thing. [The degree] took me 15 years, and even then it was sort of a badge of dishonor. It meant I wasn't working and had time to send some stuff in.”
Brad started out in a behind the scenes role with Glee. Back at the very beginning, Brad was brought in to help out Cory Monteith(Finn), who at the time had little to no experience singing. “One of the things I'm good at is teaching people that singing is just one more way of using their voices,” he told NPR.
Ryan Murphy apparently saw something else in Brad other than his vocal coaching skills. As Brad recalls it, Ryan Murphy told him, “‘You better get used to wearing all black,’” referring to Brad’s typical apparel.
We weren’t surprised that the first time Brad opened his mouth he didn’t have anything nice to say about the New Directions. When Brad was instructed about his character, he was told, “‘You hate all of them, and you hate children.’”