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Pianist Mike Petrone passes 6,000 performances at Johnny's Downtown

If you've been to Johnny's Downtown on West 6th Street, chances are you've heard music played by Mike Petrone.

CLEVELAND — A local pianist is hitting some serious high notes. In fact, he has been for almost three decades.

At Johnny's Downtown on West 6th Street, it's impossible to enjoy your meal without a taste of Petrone.

Just like the food, Mike Petrone's melodic musings have made a meal there special for the past 29 years.

"It's funny how the night kind of starts off and it's quiet and sedate, people are having dinner and a bottle of wine in, they're ready to sing songs and have a good time," Petrone said.

He's become an expert in reading the room, knowing what to play and when. And on Friday night, he performed at Johnny's Downtown for the 6,000th time.

"I like the first part where I'm just singing and I love the part where we're all together and having a smile and a song because it's so rare to have that sort of community anymore, in a room," Petrone said.

We did the math.

Petrone does about 140 songs a night.

Multiply that by 6,000, meaning he's serenaded swaths of patrons 840,000 times since signing on in 1993.

"To be able to use music in that way, to make people smile and laugh and have a good time, it's the best," Petrone said.

Now, he's taking a shot at making it to 7,000 nights of entertainment.

Music is in Petrone's blood. His father was a pianist and he and all his siblings grew up playing. 

He's proud to say Johnny's Downtown is one of the few places in town that still has piano daily.

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