Brilliant Blind Boy Plays the Blues: Felix de Saint-Hilaire!

Your weekly listen for 11/4/14 is Felix de Saint-Hilaire of Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Felix, born blind, got his first guitar at age 6 and taught himself to play on his own. He is now 10 years old and is shown here playing “Everyday I Have the Blues” by BB King. Felix has soul, passion, a strong voice and some great guitar chops!

It is often said that when a person loses one sense, another develops to compensate for the loss, and I believe it is true. I went to music college with a young man who was blind and he possessed an almost super-human ability to play by ear. He was a pianist, and his talent was so well recognized that the professor would often use him to demonstrate in class. The teacher would play a short piece of music on the piano – a melody with a fairly complicated chord progression underneath. Without hesitating, the blind student was able to reproduce the entire piece of music on the piano, note for note, after hearing it only once. It makes me wonder how much more we sighted people might achieve musically if we were to close our eyes and open our ears more often.

Regardless of what impact Felix’s disability may have had on his playing, he is a great musician and I know you will enjoy his performance!

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