Eli Mattson, 26-year-old singer/songwriter/pianist, who started his music career in Door County, made it into the top forty semifinals of America’s Got Talent, an NBC talent show on August 7.
Mattson made his singing debut at Third Avenue Playhouse when he was 18, but actually played his first original piano piece at Southern Door School when he was in fourth grade.
Roger Kuhns, his uncle, started booking him all around Door County after recording a demo of Mattson’s original songs called First Three. His first coffee shop performances were regular gigs at Java on Jefferson, and the last two summers he has been a regular attraction at J. Jeffrey Taylor jewelry store in Fish Creek, singing outside on the deck on Saturday afternoons. Mattson also sings often at the Square Rigger in Jacksonport, and event earned a grant from The Peninsula Arts Association to fund his first CD, Monsters, in 2003.
Mattson lived in Chicago for several years working regular gigs at Davenports Piano Bar and other venues on State Street and toured for a while with a country band; however, Door County continues to be a haven for Mattson when he is not traveling.
The live semifinal shows of America’s Got Talent will air on NBC after the Olympics are completed. The contestants move forward dependent on America’s votes.