Is that a baby grand? We gleefully bounded off the trolley like excited kids. To our delight it was a baby grand; bright blue, top open, sitting outside against the backdrop of flowing fountains and lit by the lights of the Kravis Center. The cushy piano bench was even covered in glitter.
Oh yeah, we’re definitely playing this one!! Playing a few simple tunes under the stars, in such an opulent setting was truly unforgettable. We definitely played better here; must’ve been the awesome venue…..
If you’re wondering how you can just walk up and play a piano in front of the Kravis Center, it’s quite easy. There are 18 pianos on display to benefit children’s charities in Palm Beach County; “Eighteen used baby grand and upright pianos are being donated by the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation and local residents. School groups and professionals will be performing periodically, but the main message is that everyone is invited and everyone can play! After their public debut, the pianos will be donated to local children’s charities and community organizations, enriching lives for years to come”
The Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places program assisted the Kretzer Foundation in developing the Call to Artists for the project and promoted the Call to Artists to 1000+ local artists in the County’s Artist Registry. As the County’s Public Art Administrator, Elayna Toby Singer was one of three judges who selected the piano art designs and connected the Kretzer Foundation to Palm Beach Counties Parks and Recreation dept. which resulted in them placing one of the pianos at Carlin Park.
Our mission was to find as many pianos as we could around downtown WPB. The fun part of the story is I have not played the piano for longer than I’ll admit in writing. I had invited my musician friend to come play while I filmed and took photos. However, that plan dramatically changed at the first stop, City Place, when my friend stated; “I’m not playing unless you play”. I really wanted to revisit the piano, but I figured I’d start in the comfort of my own home, not in the middle of City Place!
After some gracious training, I was able to join in on some simple duets and had fun. I can’t believe I just played at City Place by the fountains! After that, I was hooked and it was time to find more.
The hardest piano to find was the one on Worth Avenue. It’s tucked back in one of the alcoves; exactly where the ghost tour tells haunted stories. 11:30pm, on a windy, almost stormy night, and we played a piano in a supposed haunted area.
A few oddities occurred that made us both go “hmmm……maybe this place is really haunted”. Then, out of nowhere, a guy briskly walked by calling out for his wife and dog! Ironically, we had just seen a lady walking a dog on the sidewalk. Or did we….where these real or apparitions? Who/what else wanders Worth Ave at almost midnight? We carried on with our tunes, but after one more odd noise, we left, promptly!
We managed to find five of the 18 pianos: Clematis by the fountains, the waterfront near the docks, City Place near the fountains, in front of the Kravis Center and Worth Avenue. If you’ve ever dreamed of playing keyboard in some fun outdoor locations, this is the perfect opportunity. Even if you don’t play, come out and enjoy the artfully decorated masterpieces.
For a list of locations: http://www.palmbeachculture.com/keys-to-the-cities