ATLANTA - Braves organist headlines “game with a game”: Back in 2009, Matthew Kaminski was sitting where he’s most comfortable — behind the keys — when he was asked a life-changing question.
“I was teaching an organ lesson at the time. And the adult organ student that I had knew the guy who was looking for the Braves organist,” says Kaminski. “And he asked one day, you know, ‘Would you ever be interested?’ And I’m, like, ‘Why not?’”
Why not, indeed. Now in his twelfth season, Matthew Kaminski isn’t just the Braves organist — he’s an integral part of the experience. Loyal fans know to listen closely for his clever song choices as players step up to the plate.
“They wanted someone to be more interactive, kind of like a game-within-a-game,” he says. “So it’s actually kind of like a ‘Name That Tune,’ but at baseball games it’s name that tune and for which player you’re playing that tune.”
Of course, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Kaminski hasn’t had any games for which to play. So, for the past few months, he’s been focused on what got him the job in the first place — teaching. He offers piano, organ, and even accordion lessons, all of which are being done virtually right now.
“I’ve been enjoying it. It doesn’t quite replace the one-on-one instruction, but…it really has been working. My youngest student right now is six years old, and the oldest student is in his 70s…so it’s a broad range of students.”
Kaminski’s also been keeping up his game on social media, posting regular clips to keep fans guessing. “I thought I’d just start a daily ‘Name That Tune,’” he says. “Without playing gigs, you know, I’m trying to find other ways of being creative.”
And while fans won’t be packed into Truist Park for Wednesday’s Braves home opener, Kaminski will be there — lending his unique brand of magic to Atlanta’s home team.
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