Hear the historic piano of John William “Blind” Boone

Just the way a historic home can make the personality of a historic person come to life, so can the instrument of a long-gone musician.

On June 12, 2014, the Boone County Historic Society is hosting a night of music with some selections played on the famous Chickering Grand piano, the piano made famous by John William “Blind” Boone.

The $15, 90-minute concert starting at 7 p.m., “Jazz & Pops & Boone!” will feature three pianists, two jazz trios and one Blind Boone composition performed by Sutu Forte’. The concert will be in The Montminy Art Gallery at 3801 Ponderosa St., Columbia. Call 443-8936 for tickets.

Michael Butterworth and Zane Omohundro will take turns with drummer Andrew Sieff and Bassist Sam Copeland as they perform a 90-minute program of jazz, Broadway, and the great American Songbook.

Why is Boone famous? And who cares about the piano? Boone lived in Columbia and was the son of a runaway slave and a bugler in teh Missouri Militia. He had his eyes removed at the age of 6 months and was raised by his mother. Yet, Boone still went on to become a renown pianist, playing classical and ragtime music, throughout the nation and, some say, Europe. Before his death in 1927, he was one of the richest men — black or white — in Boone County. His home at 10 N. Fourth Street was placed on the National Register of Historic Place in 2003.

His touring company’s motto was “Merit, Not Sympathy, Wins.”

The concert will be infused with this kind of celebratory sense — and you’ll get to hear a historic piano come to life.


Chickering Grand. Every Blind Boone Piano Concert event features that beautiful old piano!

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