Boyd Lee Dunlop Celebrates His 87th Birthday Wednesday, June 26th Live at Larkin
Dreams and good fortune operate under their own capricious rules and, oftentimes, seem to run contradictory to what we each of us may view as pragmatism or common sense. Sometimes good things happen to us, seemingly, through no fault of our own, lacking any apparent causality, and yet confers the eminent vindication for refusing to quit.
Your album personnel: Boyd Lee Dunlop(piano).
Boyd Lee Dunlop, all of 85 years old, released his first album in 2011. Dunlop began playing piano at an early age. Living in a poor section of Buffalo, NY, he used a junked piano with missing keys that sat out in his family's back yard. His brother, Frankie, played drums. Frankie Dunlop later went on to have a storied career as a musician, playing on classic jazz albums (and personal favorites) like Thelonious Monk's Criss Cross andMonk's Dream and Monk's live Newport recording with Miles Davis, as well as on Charles Mingus's Tijuana Moods and Sonny Rollins' Alfie soundtrack. In the meantime, Boyd Lee stayed in Buffalo, playing the local circuit in between jobs at the steel mills. The brothers had divergent career arcs. Boyd's path is not an uncommon one.
But then it does get a bit unusual. In his 80′s, Boyd was now living in a Buffalo nursing home and passing his time playing a junked piano with missing keys that sat in the cafeteria... a piano, ironically, that was not too far removed from the piano that he first drew notes from for the first time nearly 70 years earlier. Photographer Brendan Bannon visited the nursing home regarding an art project. However, after meeting Boyd and hearing him play, it wasn't long before Bannon collaborated with others to get Boyd's music back into the public sphere. The result was the 2011 release Boyd's Blues.
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