The Viral Homeless ‘Piano Guy’ is Now a Professional Pianist, Performing in Front of 70,000 People: VIDEO


This is the inspiring story of Donald Gould, a homeless veteran who turned out to be a talented musician. Before the Sarasota Keys Piano Project arrived in downtown Sarasota, no one knew about his musical abilities. When he saw the pianos, Gould immediately sat down and played Styx’s “Come Sail Away,” catching the attention of the crowd and starting a new chapter in his life.

Gould had majored in music in college and played the clarinet for the US Marine Corps, becoming adept at the drums and many other instruments. A video of him playing the piano and an interview went viral, with nearly three million views, leading to job offers and even an invitation to play the National Anthem at a San Francisco 49ers game before 70,000 NFL spectators.

Thanks to the viral video, Gould met Sabine Perez, who wrote to him and asked him to play some music for her handicapped son. The two became partners and currently live in Germany, where they perform together and have featured on German TV. Gould remains humble, though, and in 2017 returned to the same piano where he first gained fame to play “Come Sail Away” once again, never forgetting what made him the man he is today.

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