Andrew Solomon's book, "Far From the Tree," examines the lives of children and families affected by disability. He breaks each disability – deafness, dwarfism, autism, etc. – into chapters, including a section on child prodigies, focusing on musical geniuses.
In the prodigy chapter, Solomon interviews Christian Sands, a young African American pianist, who has been making big waves in the jazz world.
Sands talks of a career highlight from the 2006 Grammys where he was playing a tribute to jazz great Oscar Peterson. Peterson, who was confined to a wheelchair suffering the effects of a stroke, was sitting on stage with a small jazz band and two pianos. As Sands begins to play, Peterson motions to a young man at the second piano to move. He stands and applauds Sands, then slowly makes his way toward the piano bench.
What happens next is simply magic. It's a musical conversation between two men who speak the same brilliant language. The master lays down some licks and the student answers. The audience and band are spellbound. Peterson died in 2007.
While jazz may not make your heart sing, this video is truly inspiring.
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