Guitarist Brandon "Taz" Niederauer, of Dix Hills, is seen performing...

Guitarist Brandon "Taz" Niederauer, of Dix Hills, is seen performing at the 2024 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Credit: Jim Brock Photography

Before the Rolling Stones took the stage on their first night at MetLife Stadium last Thursday, a Long Islander entertained the crowd: Brandon “Taz” Niederauer of Dix Hills played lead guitar in Jon Batiste’s band.

“It was definitely a bucket list moment for me to perform a gig like that. I’ve always been a Stones fan. My dad would play them in the car all the time,” said Niederauer, 21. “Walking up onto the stage and seeing all those seats seemed endless. People came out early and were invested in our set, which was awesome.”

When asked if he was nervous, Niederauer said, “No, it just felt natural to be up there. I had some jitters before going on because so many people that I knew were there, like my friends from Long Island as well as my dad. But I just remember seeing so many smiling faces, which was nice.”

Since age 8, Niederauer — who developed the nickname “Taz” at Rock-N-Roll U in Hauppauge because his hands are seemingly as fast as the Tasmanian devil — has been playing guitar. For more than a decade he's stacked up professional credits, ranging from the Broadway musical “School of Rock” to NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” TV special to Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It” Netflix series. He even has his own signature guitar, the Deluxe Brandon Niederauer Atlantic, from D’Angelico Guitars.

Niederauer’s father, Gary, was in the crowd last week beaming with pride.

“Seeing Brandon open for the Rolling Stones with Jon Batiste confirms to me that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible,” he said.

This is not Niederauer’s first time playing with Batiste. The former jammed with the latter at Manhattan jazz club the Blue Note as well as in bars on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans more than 10 years ago.

During an especially energetic performance of “Tell the Truth,” Niederauer and Batiste were simultaneously jumping up and down.

“We both want to put 100% energy into the music,” said Niederauer. “Jon is always pushing me to new heights when it comes to performing. I try to take that energy I get from him and give it back.”

After this high-energy performance, Batiste told the crowd, “Tonight we are playing with legends,” he said. “Well, we got future legends on the stage like Brandon Niederauer.” Later this year, Niederauer will drop his debut solo album, produced by Neff-U.

“All my influences are represented on this album,” says Niederauer, a Yale University student who just completed his junior year. “It has a mainstream epicenter, but the surrounding vibes are pop, jazz, R&B and rock.”

After his set, Niederauer got to watch the Stones perform from the VIP pit.

“Seeing those guys onstage so full of energy at their age reassures me that I know I’m on the right path,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to do the same thing when I get to be that age.”

In the meantime, Niederauer will play the main stage on opening day of the Great South Bay Music Festival at Shorefront Park in Patchogue on July 18.

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