It's rare these days to find music that appeals to kids, their parents, and their grandparents, too. Grandparents usually can't stand the "noise" their grandkids call music, and kids think their parents' music is out of style.

Jon Schmidt is an exception: His music is loved by people of all ages.

When Schmidt was 16, playing the piano was just a hobby. But in comparison to other teenagers whose mothers have had to bribe them to practice, he played the piano. If you've heard him play, you know what I mean.

Schmidt sold cassette tapes to make extra money on the side. He received a performance scholarship from the University of Utah but turned it down because he was considering playing college football. At the time, he didn't want to be a professional musician. He wanted a "responsible career."

Schmidt considered the possibility of this becoming more than just a hobby as his cassette tapes and concerts became increasingly popular.

"I thought it might just be a community phenomenon, but then a concert presenter from back east heard me and invited me to Washington, D.C. for a series of benefit performances," Schmidt said. "The response there was even more enthusiastic than back home, which made me think I might have something."

Jon and his wife, Michelle, carefully thought it through and decided to jump in with both feet.

"Michelle — who is 10 times more levelheaded than me — and I felt so good about going for the music career that I scrapped plans for my MBA, and we went for it on a joint decision. That was 19 years ago," he said.

Now this "hobby" pays the bills and attracts thousands of fans to his live shows to hear their favorite songs like "All of Me," "Waterfall" and his recent popular arrangement of "Love Story" meets "Viva La Vida" (which has millions of hits on YouTube).

The bio on his website says, "Jon takes the essence of New Age and turns it on its head." His music is beloved by young and old — not something many musicians can say nowadays.

His live shows reflect his diverse fan-base as well. His concerts bring people together for music that is both captivating and uplifting.

I've seen his live show twice and both times was blown away by his incredible musicianship and ability to entertain. One minute he's rocking while sporting a bright red wig, jamming his highly requested "Dumb Song;" the next he's playing the piano backwards with his hands crossed.

I've seen the reason why people flock to his shows, which is why I was surprised when Schmidt said he used to put on "a simply horrible show."

Schmidt said, "I would be so nervous that I could not play my songs well at all. My timing and stage confidence was horrible. My wife used to grip the armrest of her chair. It has been only pretty recently that I have finally figured out how to do shows (within the last five years). The other day Michelle said, 'You really have gotten good at this because I haven't gripped my chair for a long time.'"

In my opinion, it must have gone from a simply great show to a rock-your-socks-off show. Either way, fans have continued to buy tickets and bring their friends and family, and Schmidt has refined his showmanship to leave an unforgettable impression on his audience.

Schmidt's hobby that sold a few cassette tapes has developed into a phenomenon that brings generations together for high quality music and entertainment.

Schmidt's annual Thanksgiving Point show is Sept. 4. He will be joined by special guest cellist Steven Sharp Nelson. Tickets to his 13th annual Kingsbury Hall Christmas show go on sale to the public Sept. 13. For more information, visit