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'I'm grateful every day': Mass Ave. piano guy is pushing his potential 

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Jun 27, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — More commonly known as the "Mass Ave. Piano Guy," Matt Soverns is a Hoosier with harmony coursing through his veins.

If you're lucky enough to catch him pushing his mini piano up Mass Ave., around Monument Circle, along Georgia Street, or somewhere around town, you should ask him to play a song.   

He finds himself fulfilling the requests of families during the day and libation-laden bar patrons leaving the pubs at night.

"It's pretty much 'Piano Man' or 'Sweet Caroline'" Soverns said.

He'll play a song you know or even one of his originals.

"I'm grateful every day that I get to do what I do," Soverns said. "I'm very very lucky and I worked very hard to get here too."

WATCH | Matt Soverns performs an original song, "Singin' Out On The Street" on Mass Ave.

Matt Soverns performs original song on Mass Ave.

Long before Soverns dropped $100 to buy his small piano from a Muncie thrift store, he realized at a young age, he was drawn to music and performing.

Quite different from the path his parents had taken, as engineers.

Soverns says he loved Disney songs and movies; he loved theater.

As a teen, he tinkered with piano keys and taught himself how to play.

"I played around for five years," Soverns said. "And then it started, 'Oh okay, that sounds good. That actually sounds good.'"

Soverns landed his first real paying music job when he was 20 years old at a wedding venue in Noblesville.

He used this gig for five more years as a way to practice consistently, honing his skills and learning about theory and technique.

Soverns' self-taught talent even provided him a way to keep his bills paid during the pandemic.

He performed outside of restaurants along Mass Ave., during the period in 2020 and 2021 when the road was closed to vehicular traffic.

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Soverns has performed in more than 1,000 shows as a pianist and singer and has taken his talents to dueling piano bars, concert halls and even overseas to Germany, to play for U.S. troops.

"Military bases are huge," Soverns said. "They have entire communities that live there. So we entertained the families as well."

Here across Indy, Soverns is using his piano on wheels to entertain too.

He's building his business, his brand, and his repertoire as a songwriter and performer, ready to release his first album --- a collection of original songs he has been composing since 2014.

The album titled "Phoning It In" drops Saturday, June 29 on streaming services.

Soverns will even host an album release concert on the same day at 8 p.m. at the District Theatre on Mass Ave., where he will play all original music and feature special guests.

As this homegrown, self-made street performer's name grows, he said he wants "Matt Soverns" to mean something to people.

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"I've had a lot of beautiful, beautiful moments and that's what keeps me going," Soverns said. "I want to be a good thing in the world."  

If you see him strolling, wheeling and singing in the streets, you can decide if indeed he is.