One of the most beautiful sounds in the world is the sound of a piano. It’s even more impressive when you add the beauty of music to it. What if you couldn’t see that piano or any other instrument? Would you still be able to make music? Meet our list of blind Pianists and be amazed at them. Read on to know more about them.
Ray Charles was a world-renowned, Grammy Award-winning pianist and singer known for his soulful sound. He was born in Albany, Georgia, in 1930. He became blind at the age of seven and began to learn piano at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.
Ray Charles’s musical style was based on gospel and country music, filtered through his experience as a blind black man in the segregated American South. He first achieved pop success with a string of hits in the early 1950s. In 1954 he formed his record label, Tangerine Records, which released his groundbreaking album “The Genius of Ray Charles.”
Charles is credited with helping to popularize rhythm and blues music, and artists have covered his songs like James Brown, The Beatles, and Elton John. Charles enjoyed popular success throughout the 1960s with such hits as “Georgia on My Mind” and “Hit The Road, Jack.” He passed away in 2004.
Ronie Milsap is an American pianist and country music singer. He was born in Robbinsville, North Carolina, in 1943. Milsap became one of the most successful country music singers of the 1970s, and his albums have sold over 35 million copies. He is also considered one of the most critical souls and R&B music figures. He pioneered soul music, blending gospel, blues, jazz, and country styles into his unique sound. He also helped break down racial barriers in the music industry, becoming one of the first black artists to achieve mainstream success. In addition to his string of hits during the 1970s, he has had more than 30 No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He is one of only three country singers (along with George Strait and Reba McEntire) to have won Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards four times. Milsap was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1977.
Art Tatum was a jazz pianist widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of all time. His unique style combined elements of stride, swing, and ragtime. He was born in Toledo, Ohio, and began playing piano early. He rose to prominence in the 1930s, performing in clubs and on radio programs in New York City. He recorded several albums for Victor Records and appeared in a few films. In addition to his work as a solo artist, Tatum also played with many other notable musicians, including Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton. Considered one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, he is credited with bringing an unprecedented level of virtuosity to the instrument. Despite his disability, he possessed an uncanny ability to listen to recordings of other pianists and then play their solos note-for-note. He also pioneered chord substitutions and harmonic improvisation, which remain cornerstones of modern jazz piano playing. He died in 1956 at the age of 47.
Stevie Wonder is a world-renowned American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer who has achieved success in multiple genres of music. A child prodigy on the piano, Wonder reached mainstream popularity with his hits “Fingertips” and “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” in the mid-1960s. He has continued to have success throughout his career, writing and performing such classics as “Superstition,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” and “Isn’t She Lovely.” In addition to his work as a solo artist, Wonder has also been a prolific collaborator, working with other artists such as Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Sting, Elton John, and many more.
Nobuyuki Tsujii is a blind Japanese classical pianist. He was born in 1988. Tsujii lost his sight due to microphthalmia. Despite this, he has a fantastic talent in music, and even at the early age of two, he can play “Do Re Mi” on his toy piano by just listening to the humming of his mother’s song.
He competed in 2009 and tied gold with another pianist in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He has since performed with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestra. In 2011, he debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Tsujii is a remarkable pianist whose story inspires all people who face adversity.
Joaquín Rodrigo was a Spanish composer and pianist. He is best known for his Concierto de Aranjuez in 1939 and the Fantasía para un gentilhombre in1950.
Rodrigo was born in Sagunto, Valencia. After studying at the Madrid Conservatory under Francisco Antich, he won the Gran Premio de Honor de la Sociedad General de Autores y Editores in 1946. He became a professor at the conservatory in 1952.
Rodrigo composed more than 400 works, including concertos, chamber music, vocal and choral music, and several operas. His most famous work, the Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, has been performed by many major orchestras and soloists worldwide.
Ken Medema is a blind American pianist and singer who has been performing since the early 1970s. He has a unique style that blends classical music with jazz, gospel, and blues.
Ken lost his sight due to complications from meningitis as an infant, but that didn’t stop him from learning to play the piano by ear. He started his professional career in 1971 at the age of 20 and has since toured worldwide, playing for audiences of all ages. He has also released several albums of original music and his composition. In addition to his work as a musician, Medema is also an inspirational speaker, sharing his story of overcoming adversity through music. He has been described as a “musical storyteller.”
Moondog was an American composer, musician, and poet known for his unique style of dress and poetry. He played the piano and dog-bone trumpet. After becoming blind, he started wearing all-white clothes and Viking helmets.
Moondog was born in 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio. He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and later at Columbia University in New York City. In the 1940s, he became known as “the Viking of 6th Avenue” for his eccentric attire and habit of walking around Greenwich Village with a long white cane.
Moondog’s music is based on classical European forms but is highly original and often dissonant.
A blind piano player? It may seem impossible, but that’s precisely what they are. With a lot of practice and determination, they become one of the best artists in town. They are even one of the best in their field and even collaborated with famous singers during their peak. This list is an inspiring bunch of musicians who have defied their situations. Thank you for reading, comment below what you think about them and their music!