Limerick guitar whizz mingles with the stars at glitzy Vegas bash

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Andreas Varady with his hero Will Smith at Quincy Jones' 80th birthday bash in Las Vegas
LIMERICK guitar prodigy Andreas Varady mingled with the world’s biggest stars at a glitzy party in Las Vegas at the weekend.

LIMERICK guitar prodigy Andreas Varady mingled with the world’s biggest stars at a glitzy party in Las Vegas at the weekend.

Andreas, 15, who lives on Fr Russell Road, was invited over to the joint 80th birthday party for Quincy Jones - his manager - and his pal Michael Caine in the MGM Grand Hotel.

Varady and his parents Bandi and Beata were special guests at the star studded bash, which was attended by Bono, Stevie Wonder, Whoopi Goldberg and a host of stars of stage, screen and music.

The diminutive guitarist, who is from Slovakia but has lived in Limerick for nearly six years, performed a song for Quincy at the bash, and mingled with the stars at the event, which was attended by 2,000 guests and broadcast on American television.

Andreas, who will be 16 in July, said his “dream came true” by meeting one of his heroes, movie star Will Smith, at the bash. He said afterward: “If you wanna party, call Quincy Jones!”

He thanked the Thriller producer for bringing him out, saying he had a “great time”.

The guitar whizz signed to Jones’ management company in January, and was invited over to perform at the glittering bash by the producer, who has been nominated for a whopping 79 Grammy Awards.

Andreas was invited over to the Montreux Jazz Festival last summer by Jones, who was shown an internet video of Varady performing by festival founder Claude Nobs, who passed away in January.

“We met and talked and he liked me,” said Andreas before the bash.

“He is a very nice guy, he is fun. We only just signed a contract recently, so I am looking forward to the stuff we are going to do together.”

Long-time friends Jones and Caine, who were born within minutes of each other on different sides of the Atlantic, decided to celebrate their 80th birthdays together, raising funds for the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo centre for Brain Health in the process.

The fundraiser featured an auction which saw one bidder shell out $200,000 for a dinner with George Clooney.

Varady walked the red carpet at the event, rubbing shoulders and taking pictures with Ghost star Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Tucker, and Quincy’s daughter Rashida, a star of Parks and Recreation and the American version of The Office.