A video of the man was first posted on Facebook just two days ago. It is captivating the nation, with more than two million views.
“Incredible!” wrote one viewer. “Just beautiful,” said another. And “such talent, it’s a shame he is homeless,” wrote yet another.
He’s playing the piano on a public sidewalk. Anyone can sit down and play. It’s part of an arts project in Sarasota, Florida.
But no one expected this. Pedestrians are taken aback. Another video shows him performing for a father and his young son.
So who is this homeless maestro? His name is Donald Gould and he’s a former U.S. Marine. Gould’s story is heartbreaking. He’s 51 and said he has struggled with drugs. His wife died in 1998. He’s been living on the streets for at least three years. He was laid off, his unemployment benefits ran out and has been unemployed six years.