94-Year-Old Musician Plays Jazz Piano for the First Time in Years Since His Stroke

Jazz Piano Julian Lee

Some say that music is the key to your soul. A melody can trigger thoughts, memories, and—for some old time musicians—it might even reignite skills they forgot they ever had. This was the case for 94-year-old jazz pianist Julian Lee, who, ever since he suffered a stroke, had stopped playing the keys for many years—until now.

The legendary New Zealand-born musician was recently filmed playing piano with one hand, along with fellow jazz icon James Morrison who accompanied him on the same piano with his left hand, while playing the trumpet with his right. Australian jazz and swing musician Don Borrows is also captured dancing beside them, and Val (Lee’s wife) is seen behind them. Morrison, who posted the video on YouTube, writes, “[It’s] special being with my mentor Don Burrows and our great mate Julian Lee for the day in Mossvale. Jules hasn’t played for years since his last stroke…he turns 95 this year and we share our birthday…music is such a joy.”

Julian Lee was nicknamed “Golden Ears” for good reason. Blind since birth, he had acute listening skills that helped him become an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and producer. His born talent is clear in the video, where Lee is seen effortlessly jamming to Ella Fitzgerald’s “After You’ve Gone.”

94-year-old musician and stroke survivor Julian Lee was recently captured playing jazz piano for the first time in years.

James Morrison: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
h/t: [Open Culture]

All images via James Morrison.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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