95-year-old pianist in care home overwhelmed after Gumtree advert sees 80 musicians come to jam with him
A 95-year-old jazz musician who advertised on Gumtree for bandmates to ‘jam‘ with has been inundated with offers from kind-hearted music lovers.
Pianist Edward Hardy played in a jazz quartet for almost 40 years but had no one to play with after being moved into a care home following the onset of dementia.
Care home worker Sam Kinsella helped him post an online advert to bring in musicians to jam with the talented war veteran.
The home in Wookey, Somerset, was inundated with more than 80 requests from across the UK, and Mr Hardy has already played with a saxophonist and a double bassist.
But he was even more astonished when the advert prompted three former band mates who he hadn’t seen for 35 years to get in touch.
The elderly four-piece original jazz band are now in rehearsals for a reunion show at Mellifont Abbey care home next year.
Mr Hardy said: “It is amazing so many volunteers have come forward to help me make music and it is marvellous that I have also been reunited with my old band.
“I have missed playing and when I do play now it makes me feel better and young again.”
Life-long musician Mr Hardy set up his first band when he returned from serving in Japan in World War II.
But he grew depressed when he recently moved into the care home initially leaving his wife for 75 years, Betty, 91, at home, and was diagnosed with dementia.
Staff put out an online appeal for bandmates, and received more than 80 replies.
Already saxophonist Jezz Jackson and double bassist Greg Cordezz have jammed with the pensioner, who despite his illness has been able to play along without any problems.
Musician Jezz said: “Ed was born in the 1920s and has lived through all the major eras of music so this was also a special opportunity to perform with him.
“Ed really inspires me with how he has remembered to play music and play it so well and it’s like everything comes back to him when he’s on the piano. It’s truly amazing to see the response.”
Activities co-ordinator Mr Kinsella added: “It’s amazing how music can change people’s lives and the effects it has on people with cognitive conditions.
“The response from the advert has been overwhelming with people all over the UK offering to help.”