Sarasota, FL

Homeless “piano man” takes talent to the next level after bystander records him on the street

Amy Christie

Donald Gould used to live on the streets in Sarasota, Florida. That lasted until a passerby was impressed while hearing him play the piano.

The video he recorded made a lasting impression on social media and turned out to be the starting point for a wonderful career that unites talent, dedication, and love for music.

What are the details?

The formerly homeless Marine veteran is also a musician, and he got his big break when the Sarasota Keys Project wheeled several pianos on the streets. The initiative was meant to give a chance to local artists or homeless people to show their musical passion and talent, according to The Epoch Times.

So, Donald Gould saw a fantastic opportunity literally waiting at his fingertips.

“I said, ‘Oh, I can make some money now with a piano on the street, that’s for sure. I went to it, I put my hat on the piano, with a dollar for a primer, you know, and I started playing. I played almost every day. There were several pianos in Sarasota out on the street, and I’d go to all of them,” he shared with the outlet.

And he didn’t just use pianos for honing his skills and delighting anyone passing by. Gould also took care of them, making sure the weather didn’t damage any of the pianos.

“I used to guard them when it started raining. I’d go around to restaurants and push the pianos under shelter, so they wouldn’t get trashed,” he added.

The project also helped him earn and gradually increase his income.

“Some days, I did really well, and I made two or three hundred dollars one night,” he recalls.

And then an amazing thing happened. An inspired bystander recorded him while playing. He had long hair, a beard, and unkempt clothes, but his talent went beyond appearances. It charmed thousands of people on social media, and that’s how his career got launched.

Inside Edition invited him to San Francisco to play at Levi’s Stadium, and since then, his success has been constantly on the rise.

He found a manager, launched his first album, “Walk on Water,” and got thousands of messages from his fans worldwide. After living abroad for a while, he is now back in Sarasota and looking for a home while trying to reconnect with his son Donny who is staying with his adoptive family.

He will release a biopic movie soon, “Walk on Water: The Story of Donald Gould the Homeless Piano Man,” and he put out a video covering “Here Comes Sun” from The Beatles.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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