Jazz Pianist with Dementia Sent to Care Center Gets 80 Musicians to Come Jam
A devastating diagnosis transforms to offer peace to renowned musician.
World War II veteran and renowned jazz piano player, Edward Hardy, happily celebrated his 95th birthday. Unfortunately, the elderly man also received a devastating diagnosis of dementia. As a result, he was moved to a facility that offered round the clock care for patients in his position.
Edward had never felt so lonely. In his youth, the man had celebrated 40 years as the piano player in a jazz quart. He was accustomed to the lively and energetic interactions he experienced in the music business and became notably depressed without his band members.
The 95-year-old decided to enlist the help of a caretaker at the facility to place an ad online. Together, the two wrote an advertisement calling all musicians who wanted to participate in a “jam session.” The senior citizen never expected the response he would get.
Over 80 different individuals immediately answered, jumping at the chance to perform with the renowned pianist. That number even included his old bandmates. After a 35-year separation, the quartet was finally reunited. The man was overwhelmed by all the love and support.
“It is amazing so many volunteers have come forward to help me make music,” Edward said. “It is marvelous that I’ve been reunited with my old band.”
Edward is now booked solid. His schedule is full of hopeful musicians anticipating to play with the expert pianist. The staff as well as the patients at the care facility are more than happy to listen to the beautiful productions. Even the man’s wife, Betty, attends the performances. Edward, forever a musician at heart, is simply content playing his piano.
“I have missed playing,” he explains. “…and when I do play now it makes me feel better and young again.”
Transport yourself to an actual performance and feel the music in the clip below.