Powell's father was a stride pianist. Powell started classical piano lessons at the age of five. His teacher, hired by his father, was a West Indian man named Rawlins. At ten, Powell showed interest in the swing music that could be heard all over the neighborhood. He first appeared in public at a rent party, where he mimicked Fats Waller's playing style. The first jazz composition that he mastered was James P. Johnson's "Carolina Shout". Powell's older brother, William, played trumpet and violin, and by the age of 15 Powell was playing in William's band. Powell heard Art Tatum on the radio and tried to match his technique. Powell's younger brother, Richie Powell, was also a noted be-bop pianist.