Once a year, Santa Barbara rolls out about 15 old pianos and places them on street corners on State Street, the main street in downtown, and invites everyone to play. It is an event I look forward to as all styles of music fill the air for a week. The pianos are painted festive colors and invite any and all to sit and play. I savor the opportunity to play the pianos at different times of day. There is something very indulgent about playing at 7am as part of my morning walk as the world wakes up and I am the only one on the street with my music.
One of the things I love most about “Pianos on State Street” is the range of abilities. While I must admit I get a little tired of Heart and Soul, Chop Sticks, and the one piece people play with their knuckles, for the most part it’s fascinating to see what music people play. It’s amazing how in the moment, people will sit down and just play. I rarely play for anyone but on State Street, I lose my inhibitions and sit down and play for the world.
I become the great pianist I’ve longed to be. For one week, everyone is a pianist! [Read more…]