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Seattle-based guitarist, 14, to play national anthem at NHL Winter Classic

SEATTLE — A Seattle-based 14-year-old will play the national anthem at a major sports event, and it won’t be his first time.

The Star-Spangled Banner will be played by teen guitarist Nikhil Bagga at the NHL Winter Classic.

The New Year’s Day showdown at T-Mobile Park will pit our Seattle Kraken against reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Vegas Golden Knights.

At 9 years old, Bagga took up guitar and learned by playing along with his favorites including AC/DC, Ed Sheeran, Nirvana, and Queen, according to his publicist.

On his tenth birthday, his first public performance was as a busker on a San Diego beach.

During the pandemic, he shared a daily song with his fans, who came to know him as “a human jukebox who could cover over 350 songs.”

It wasn’t long until he began writing original songs. He recorded his debut release, Leap of Faith, at Seattle’s London Bridge Studios. The record was released in the spring of 2022.

Bagga was born in Toronto and now lives in Seattle, where he has played at the Crocodile, Vera Project, and Pike Place Market.

His Jan.1, 2024, performance of the national anthem won’t be his first at a pro sports venue. He’s also played the national anthem four times for the Seattle Mariners and twice for the Seattle Kraken.

©2023 Cox Media Group

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