Employee amazes Costco customers with SELF-TAUGHT piano skills, ends up on Ellen

I think it would take years to master the piano, but this self-taught worker of Costco makes it look like everyone can do this!

It would be a dream come true for us to meet our idols, and the lucky man featured in our story is about to meet his.

Marcos Bocanegra from Temecula, California has loved one thing in his life more than anything – playing the piano. Ever since he could walk, he has dedicated his time teaching himself how to play the instrument.

Marcos Bocanegra

The 20-year-old works at Costco and plans to become a police officer to support his family in the future. But more than this practical design, Marcos knew that in a “perfect world”, he would want to become something else – the best pianist-composer that he could ever be.

Recently, Marcos became the object of the spotlight when he uploaded a video of himself playing the piano at Costco to his Twitter account.

“I love playing on the pianos that come into Costco,” he wrote in the tweet.

Marcos Bocanegra's Twitter post

In the video, Marcos is seen playing the piano with the skill of an expert. The fluid motion of his fingers on the keys and the hypnotic sound that it makes is hauntingly beautiful. The young man’s skills are so impressive that it’s so hard to believe that it’s entirely self-taught!

Marcos dedicated a huge amount of his time teaching himself how to play the piano, creating his own compositions and dreaming of scoring movie soundtracks someday, like his idol Hans Zimmer, the Oscar-winning composer.

Marcos is lucky to have parents who are supportive of his dream. Because of this, he was able to purchase a baby grand piano that he uses to hone his talent. His family can’t afford to purchase the expensive instrument with a single cash payment, so he uses his earnings from working at the tire center at Costco to pay for it.

Marcos Bocanegra with his parents

The video he posted on Twitter earned millions of views and went viral, catching the attention of Ellen DeGeneres who invited him to appear on her show. Together with his parents, Marcos went to the studio in Santa Monica to meet Ellen!

On the show, Marcos talked about his great love for playing the piano and shared that his hero was Hans Zimmer. If you aren’t familiar, Hans is the creative genius behind the movie soundtracks for “The Dark Knight,” “The Lion King,” and “Interstellar.”


When Marcos was asked to perform, he naturally decided to play one of Hans’ songs, “Time” from the movie “Inception”. As expected, the aspiring composer treated the audiences to a beautiful performance, leaving them in awe as he ended.

Ellen is known for her surprising her guests, and surely, Marcos wasn’t an exception. With the help of Shutterfly, Ellen handed a giant check for the young man: $3,896.92, which is the total amount that he still needs to pay off the baby grand piano that he purchased!


After that, Ellen asked Marcos to look into the video screen, and right there was Hans Zimmer giving him a message!

“I’m totally blown away by your playing and I hear you’re really into film score so why don’t you come down to my studio and hang out and we can jam and maybe come up with something cool,” Hans told Marcos in the clip.

Hans Zimmer

The hardworking young man was clearly overjoyed! For sure, he feels so excited to meet Hans in person and play with him, and we’re also excited to see what these two geniuses come up with during their brainstorming!

Watch Marcos’ reaction upon seeing his hero in the video below.

With a dedication and skill such as his, we believe that Marcos is going to be one of music industry’s greats someday!

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