Most Fascinating Blind Piano Players & Musicians of All Time

Playing any musical instrument can be a challenge for anyone, but being visually impaired and still being able to play piano as good as professionals is fascinating.

When i was a newbie, I had almost "given up"because it was just too hard and time-consuming for me. But right now, When I look back and realize that those excuses were nothing when compared to blind musicians.

A blind pianist despite has a disadvantage of sight, yet they're performing phenomenally.

Here're the most fascinating blind pianist and musicians of all time.  

Nobuyuk Tsujii

Nobuyuk Tsujii is a Japanese Pianist. He was born blind due to microphthalmia and because of his incredible piano talents and performance got viral all around the world. 

In March 2011, Japan was affected by Tsunami. Nobuyuk performed his own composition, "Elegy for the Victims of the Tsunami of March 11, 2011 in Japan" and it has more than 24 million views on YouTube.

He got interested in playing piano right from his childhood. By the age of 10, he was already performing in Century Orchestra Osaka.

Nobuyuki Tsujii made a number of contribution and charity works for Japan Tsunami restoration efforts. Tsujii conducted several concerts for collecting contribution funds.  

Ray Charles

If you ask any pianist about the blind piano players, then Ray Charles would definitely come up in the conversation.

He wasn't blind by birth. He had vision till the age 5 and began losing his eye sight completely by the age of 7. He started learning Piano from his music teacher in School. 

It was really hard to play piano using braille reading and eventually he became a master in it. Among his friends circle, everyone would used to call him "Brother Ray".

Frank Sinatra once called him "the only true genius in show business". He became friends with Quincy Jones and their friendship lasted life-long.

In 1987, he was awarded Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and lots more achievements.

Apart from playing piano, he was also a singer and a song composer.

George Shearing

George Shearing is from London, UK. George was blind from birth and he lead a popular jazz group that recorded for MGM Records and more.

George Shearing started play piano at young age.

He got a scholarship to attend University because of his talents but he denied it because it was more lucrative for him to play piano in local bars and pub. Later on, he joined in a local band.

After lot of hardwork and recordings, he joined the Harry Potter Band and got recognized worldwide.  He played more 300+ compositions of his own and got appreciated by the Queen of England and he also performed at the White House several times.

Art Tatum

Art Tatum is one of the greatest pianists. When you google about Art Tatum, there's not much information about his life and you'll probably just see the Wikipedia page. Art Tatum preferred to remain private.

Art Tatum began his career by playing piano on Toledo Radio Station as "Arthur Tatum, Toledo's Blind Pianist". Art Tatum lost his sight in his early age. His right eye had only limited vision.

He started to play piano at the age of 3. Started to excel at the genre of Jazz and eventually, he became a fluent pianist. His accuracy was really good inspite of his lost sight.

Jose Feliciano

Feliciano is one of the most popular Latin-born musicians in the 60's, Puerto Rican guitarist, the singer found his success during the 1960's.

Feliciano was born on September 10, 1945 in Lares, Puerto Rico. He was born blind. At the age of 17, he dropped out from school and start to play in clubs.

His most famous American hit is "Light My Fire" and his best-selling Christmas single, "Feliz Navidad".

Jose Feliciano has produced songs in both Spanish and English in various of a different genre. 

Feliciano's guitar skills are really impressive and inspiring for any thriving musicians. 

Moondog

Moondog is one of the unique musicians. From his name to his style of music, everything is unique and that's what fascinates me. 

Louis Hardin aka Moondog made the decision to live on the streets and preferred to have a unique way of living. Louis Hardin is an American Pianist and a poet. He even invented his own tools and musical instruments.

Louis Hardin music is mostly inspired by street noises. Louis joined in music clubs in his school and he used to play drums in his school band.

He wasn't born blind but at the age of 16 he lost his eyesight. 

Joaquin Rodrigo

Joaquin Rodrigo lost his eyesight at the age of 3. Joaquin is a classic Spanish musician and a pianist. Joaquin's music got popular during 90's. Especially, his Conceietro de Aranjuez.

After losing his eyesight, his passion for music grew exponentially. At the age of 8, he started to play Piano and Violin.

By the age of 20, he already mastered playing Violin and Piano.  In 1983, Joaquin received Spain's highest award for competition, The Premio Nacional de Musica.

Conclusion

All the blind musicians are such an inspiration for every single artist. Even though, they had a major disadvantage they didn't let it stop them. 

I used give silly excuses for not attending my piano classes when I was in School. My excuses are really silly. I was a beginner and not-so fluent with piano and in my class, many were already playing tunes and got the hang of it. I felt I'll get embarrassed and used to give silly excuses for missing my piano classes.

This article will definitely motivate you to pursue your goals and not to give excuses! 

Good luck.

About the Author Wendell A Wiese

I'm the lead researcher and content manager at PianoNadu. I test various different digital pianos and share our unbiased reviews here. We test them on various different aspects and make sure it passes our quality criteria. During my college years, I was a part of my college band known as DMT. I was the Pianist in our band. My love for playing the piano grew during middle school. Read more about me here

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