Alex and Brody Gage
Tune in to Americaâ€™s Got TalentÂ (AGT) on July 28 to watch Topanga brothers, Alex and Brody Gage, perform in their second-round audition.
As one of the lucky teachers living in the community where I teach, I get to see many of my students grow up. When students start Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten, I donâ€™t always see their skills and talents revealed, but slowly, as they get comfortable and gain confidence, the children begin to share. This was the case when I met Alex Gage in my TK class, who started out as a shy young boy who surprised all of us with his harmonica talents by the end of the year. When Brody was in my class a couple of years later, I had a clue that he possessed the same musical talent and was proven right. I remember both boys as focused students with a love of art and music. Watching Alex and Brody grow into the young men they are, good students, and amazing musicians, has been a true pleasure.
According to their website (brothersgage.com), â€śThe Brothers Gage, Alex and Brody, first learned to play harmonica fromÂ their dad when they were both five years old. Within the next few years,Â they began singing, playing guitar, bass, drums, andÂ keyboards. TheyÂ performed live for the first time at a local talent show in October 2013Â (theyâ€™ve since played it six years in a row). Brody was eight years old andÂ played harmonica while his brother Alex, 10 at the time, sangÂ and played guitar performing the song â€śWagon Wheelâ€ť.â€ť
The boysâ€™ father, Dave, has taught harmonica for 40 years at McCabeâ€™s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, so it was natural that he would start teaching the kids to play when they were little. He wanted to give the kids a skill they could take into adulthood, which also taught self-discipline via daily practice that began with 15 minutes a day, but it had to be every day, and by â€śevery day,â€ť he meant even on birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc.
Daveâ€™s philosophy is that if you miss one day, it makes it easier to miss more days. He ultimately found bribing them with weekly allowance money was the trick to keep them practicing. Miss a day, no allowance for that week. All of this practicing and commitment to perfecting their craft led to the Gage brothersâ€™ love of music and the strong bond they share, which is clear in their performances.
The Brothers Gage debuted onÂ Americaâ€™s Got TalentÂ (AGT) on JuneÂ 30, 2020, for their first-round audition. They performed their originalÂ two-man harmonica instrumental â€śTrading Eightsâ€ť (available onÂ streamingÂ platforms), received four yes votes and a standing ovation from all fourÂ judges: Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet, and Howie Mandel.Â
As Alex and Brodyâ€™s former teacher, watching that AGT show was a thrill that brought tears to my eyes. Mrs. Kort, their Kindergarten teacher, was equally moved and we were both so excited when they received the four yes votes!
The Brothers Gage started playing in public at The Topanga Talent Show, which was a great way for the kids to have a goal of performing, rather than just practicing. After they got up on stage for the first show, they were excited to do it again the next year and the years following. Their humble beginnings at The Talent Show led to their shows at Topanga Days, the first year as the opening act on the Main Stage, followed the next year by a performance on the Corral Stage.
Their mom, Tina, says her role as their mom has been a supportive role, since she doesnâ€™t know how to teach music. She does contribute opinions about song choices, does the graphics for their flyers, and answers the ever-present question, â€śWhatâ€™s for dinner?
The Brothers Gage currently perform in the Los Angeles area at local clubs,Â events, fundraisers, pep rallies, and parties. Theyâ€™ve played numerousÂ times at McCabesâ€™ Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, opening forÂ the bandÂ Jacksh*t (including guest stars like Jackson Browne and Dave Alvin),Â and played an opening set for the band, Big Daddy, in 2018. TheyÂ recently won first place at a local talent show calledÂ â€śAgouraâ€™s GotÂ Talentâ€ť in Agoura, California.
In December 2018, the Brothers GageÂ released their first instrumental single, â€śTrading Eights,â€ť whichÂ is currently available on Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes. I am sure there will be more to look forward to with these two amazing musicians.
Alex says, â€śWeâ€™ve grown up playing music and played many shows over the years, but itâ€™s exciting to get to this level and play for millions of TV viewers.â€ťÂ
Brody adds, â€śThe response to our act has been amazing, and being on the show was a cool experience.â€ť
Be sure to watch the Brothers Gageâ€™s next appearance on Americaâ€™s Got Talent, July 28.