Ben Folds Five frontman Ben Folds says 2020 presidential hopeful and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegAdvocates see pilot program to address inequalities from highways as crucial first step Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Five reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season MORE (D) was a "fine" pianist for his 2015 performances in Indiana.
In an interview with Esquire, Folds said he was expecting the mayor to be a below-average player because of his background as a politician but that he was pleasantly surprised by Buttigieg's skill.
"He and I went over the music quickly and he was obviously a very good pianist — no worries there," Folds told the magazine. "It was a very difficult song he pulled off. I’m serious. He’s a fine player.”
Buttigieg appeared onstage with Ben Folds and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra at a 2015 concert and played piano during a performance of the song "Steven's Last Night in Town."
Folds went on to praise the mayor's bid for the presidency, which is expected to officially launch after Buttigieg announced an exploratory committee earlier this year and secured enough individual donations to qualify for the first Democratic debate.
"I think if he manages to bring people together the way I saw from the stage in South Bend, he’s going to bring a great gift to the national conversation and its tone," Folds told Esquire.
Buttigieg, 37, is one of the youngest candidates vying for the party's 2020 nomination — Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardThe perfect Democratic running mate for DeSantis? Progressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition MORE (D-Hawaii) is the same age. In national polls, Buttigieg has consistently ranked in the single digits, while a recent Morning Consult tracking poll noted that he experienced the greatest surge in favorability among the candidates over the course of the past two months.