Jarrett & Raja on ‘Shark Tank’: Interview With the Magician/Pianist Duo

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Jarrett & Raja, a musician and a pianist with a unique show, entered the Shark Tank in Season 7. Heavy spoke to the dynamic duo who got national attention when they competed on America’s Got Talent.

As for their foray on Shark Tank, the men submitted a video to the show on a Friday and heard back the following Monday. Once in the Tank, they proposed taking their show to Vegas. “The show would revolve around our two characters with our dry humor and sarcasm with each other. The production value of music, magic and choreography would be sensational,” Raja explained.

Here’s what else they told us about…

How They Met

Raja: We met in New York City while I was a student at Juilliard. We met through some common friends although I didn’t know Jarrett that well.
Jarrett: I was booked at a Christmas gig for the Friar’s Club in New York City and they didn’t have a sound system. However, they did have a piano. At that time, I was creating my own music and songs and worked with CD. I realized I had to have someone on the piano for the music so I approached Raja. I needed someone good! He was at Juilliard so I figured that would work. The gig went great!

When the Show Was Born & What It Is

Jarrett: Our Friar’s Club engagement resulted in a standing ovation. This took us a bit by surprise as our ‘marriage’ was more by necessity rather than deliberate. After this rousing reaction, we decided to perform our show at other venues in New York City and see how it went. The shows continued to go well and there was tremendous interest in this new double act that at the time, we called Classical Magic. Press, presenters and audiences alike were fascinated by the combination of a magician and a pianist. Ultimately, our show is about the two characters of a Pianist and a Magician. We naturally have a sarcastic and dry dynamic, and this translates well on stage. Of course, the music is always great and at a very high level that goes with our illusions. We don’t mess around when it comes to our music – we have the best arrangers and composers work with Raja in getting things just right. I work with the very best consultants in the magic business, namely Johnny Thompson, who consults daily with Penn & Teller, and has worked with all of the biggest in the business, including Seigfried & Roy, David Copperfield and Criss Angel.

Appearance on ‘America’s Got Talent’ & How It Affected Their Career

Raja: We were very lucky to get as far as we did. We went through four rounds into the semifinals and were the favorite pick of Howie Mandel for the Wild Card. It was a heady and extremely exciting period in our career. Since AGT, we have had numerous TV shows engage us. We really enjoy doing TV and continue to do more. We have, in fact, three more episodes of The CW’s Masters of Illusion coming out this summer.
Jarrett: As we went on from round to round, I learned quickly that we had to come up with new and exciting magic for each appearance. Usually we had less than two weeks to create, design, build and rehearse something completely original. The stress was out of control but focused. It was all about pushing the envelope hard. From that fast paced experience on America’s Got Talent, I have learned to use the same strategy in all of our projects to date including Shark Tank. AGT taught me a lot in a very positive way.

Plans for a Magical Future

Raja: We have begun a monthly show series called FINDING MAGIC at our Studio Theatre for at-risk kids. We coordinate with a different charitable organization each month and bring in about 20 to 40 kids for a show and an interactive workshop afterwards. This helps to empower the kids and build confidence. After living in Las Vegas for 15 years, this is our way of giving back to our community. We have launched a site to help us cover the costs of these monthly shows. We also have several other projects going on simultaneously – more TV shows coming up, and live productions around the country. We can’t say more yet!

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