Blind musicians and piano players who play just like masters are a huge phenomenon. Blind piano players have a slight disadvantage, however, this does not mean that there are no examples of exceptional blind musicians. Let’s take a look at famous blind singers and piano players.
If you think about a famous blind piano player who comes to your mind? Probably Ray Charles, right? He is the first pianist who pops into most people’s head. However, he was also a blind black singer too.
The blind black piano player was also a songwriter and singer, and he was a true pianist even until he died. He was a real inspiration to other black blind piano players like Stevie Wonder. Ray Charles was not only a great inspiration to famous blind musicians, however, in soul music he was a trailblazer. Many other black blind singers and blind black piano players were inspired by him.
Ray Charles was so successful and gifted in his career that Frank Sinatra once said about Ray Charles that he is “the only true genius in show business”. There is no doubt, a talented blind black pianist he was.
Ray Charles helped to inspire the talented also black blind musician Stevie Wonder. He is an amazing musician who is really gifted in the industry. This blind singer is beloved by many!
Stevie Wonder is often called a child genius because he was so talented from birth playing at the piano. The term itself gets used and misused too much, but Stevie Wonder is a true example of it. Interestingly, he got a deal at only 11 years old!
Art Tatum was a blind jazz pianist and considered to be one of the best piano players. He had a huge influence on the industry and no wonder he had such a big influence on the jazz world.
Sadly not too much is we could learn about this blind pianist. There is only one full biography about Tatum, and interestingly he avoided the spotlight as much as he could.
You would think that famous blind musicians are mostly drawn to jazz and blues genres. However, Ronnie Milsap is an expectation, as he became famous in country music.
Ronnie Milsap was born blind, but soon in school, his teachers recognized his amazing musical talent and labelled him a born musician.
When he got his first song ‘Total Disaster’ Ronnie Milsap taught himself how to play on multiple instruments. He is still famous as a blind country singer, sadly his popularity faded recently.
Nobuyuk Tsujii is a famous blind piano player who has an exceptional talent for piano playing.
When he was four years old he could play Jingle Bells on the piano just after his mother sang it. And he never played the piano before! When he was seven, he already got the first prize at the All Japan Music Competition for Blind Student, and at ten years old he won first place at the Century Orchestra Osaka.
Now Nobuyuk Tsujii performs in many countries and he even began to make his own music. Pretty impressive from a man at his age.
From lifestyle through his music to his name there is not a simple thing about this blind musician. Many people have to go on the streets to live there, but Louis Hardin or as more known as Moondog made his own choice to live on the streets.
Just to make things more interesting, Moondog dressed as the thunder god Thor, every single day. Moondog’s music was just as interesting as his life choices. His whole life was influenced by the noises, such as foghorns and traffic noises.
His music was not really enjoyed by the mainstream public, he is well known by other music producers and players such as Janis Joplin, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich. Also, many more who were inspired by his strange yet interesting music.
‘Feliz Navidad’ is a truly classic Christmas song which made Jose Feliciano well know. However, the blind musician produced numerous songs in various genres over his 50 years in the music industry. Jose Feliciano produces music in English and Spanish.
Jose Feliciano is amazing with the guitar, and for many years he amused the spectators with his skills and amazing performances. As many blind musicians, this was never a problem in performing.
George Shearing is a famous blind jazz pianist. He achieved more in the music industry than any jazz player in the most recent years.
This blind piano player wrote over 300 original songs, played all over the globe, but also was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II a decade ago, and he performed at the White House. Actually, he played for three various presidents.
Interestingly, before he was such a well known among other blind piano players, he worked in a local bar for 5 pounds a week.
Blind Willie Johnson
There is a lot of questioning around Blind Willie Johnson and how he got blind. It is most likely that he got blind because his mama got lye in his face because of her anger. Whatever was the reason for his blindness, it did not stop this blind black musician to produce 30 songs with Columbia.
Many songs of Blind Willie Johnson’s were covered by famous musicians such as Eric Clapton and even blind blues singers. Sadly he was not appreciated during his life and died as a homeless person.
Not yet a famous blind piano player, as Kuha’o did not produce any music by himself or performed for any big venues. This blind pianist is certainly working on his career.
Kuha’o is only 15 years old, but he can play most of the songs after listening to them only once. This born blind pianist is truly a talented person who will inspire many other blind musicians and blind singers.