Feature: Mac Potts: Local Musical Prodigy Shares Love through Music
Photo credit: Brian Harrison
MAC POTTS Local Musical Prodigy Shares Love through Music By Brooke Strickland
Mac Potts was born with music inside of him. He recalls playing with musical toys as a young child growing up in Kalama, and listening to any cassette tape he could get his hands on. He says, “Music has always been part of my life. I don’t really remember a time when it wasn’t. I don’t even remember the first time I played a song on the piano. Apparently, I was in a diaper, reaching above my head to get to the keys in order to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb.’” Potts was also born blind, but that has not stopped him from experiencing life to the fullest. In fact, he has been able to experience more than most, because of his musical gifts. Potts is a professional pianist and vocalist now living in Vancouver, and he has been perfecting his talent and skills since childhood. From as
early as age 11, Potts began performing at festivals and events around the Pacific Northwest, and soon he was traveling to take the stage in Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Florida, and New York. For regular employment, he tunes pianos and performs live regularly at Warehouse ‘23 in downtown Vancouver, and he always has a gig on the books, simply because people are stunned at his mastery of music. “I play almost all styles of music, however, most of it can be easily classified as pop,” he shares. “I had classical training growing up, but I like to think of my roots as rock and roll, soul music, and blues, with a little bit of jazz. I don’t particularly specialize in a style of music. My main talent is making the entire piano sound like a full band, as well as, in the right situation, using my piano bench and feet as extra percussion.
On top of it, I play saxophone, drums, and harmonica, as well as dabbling in a little bit of guitar, ukulele, and bass.” Music is such an integral part of Potts’s life that it only makes sense that music is also what brought him and his wife together. He knew his wife, Hailey, for 11 years before they were married, but they only encountered each other once a year at Portland’s annual Ten Grands concert hosted by Michael Allen Harrison, where some of the most accomplished pianists, including young prodigies, perform. He said, “For the better part of the first five years, we were mere acquaintances. We eventually started saying more to each other than just ‘Hi, Mac’ and ‘Hi, Hailey.’ We began dating in 2013 and got married in March 2016.” In September 2018, Mac continued on page 20
Check out links to Mac Potts’s new studio album “Three”, his YouTube channel, and his website at www.vancouverfamilymagazine.com/mac-potts. 18
Vancouver Family Magazine • www.vancouverfamilymagazine.com • February 2019
The magazine for Southwest Washington families.