Travelling pianist Davide Martello showed up in Minneapolis to spread a message of hope through music at George Floyd’s memorial.
Martello, also known as Klavierkunst, lives in Oklahoma City and drove 12 hours to the memorial to use his talent to help heal the community.
“I am from Germany and everybody is telling me how awful the pictures are and the medias are, so I just want to do something,” Martello told CNN.
“Music is the perfect medium to restore peace, I think.”
The musician set up his piano in the middle of one of the streets where protesters were gathered and started playing. His melody quickly attracted an audience.
Those in the crowd told CNN the mood completely changed.
“We’re in the middle of a protest, in the middle of a riot, but you know, music can change people,” Terrance Jackson said.
Martello even allowed other people to use his piano to play their own songs. A little girl used her time to serenade the crowd with “Happy Birthday.”
“It’s what Minnesota is about. This is our community, this is our home, and rather than the damages we’ve seen … this is what we are about, coming together. The music,” protester El Will explained.
The piano man plays when there’s tragedy
It’s not the first time Martello has brought his music to the scene of a great tragedy.
In 2016, the German pianist brought his piano to Dallas for a memorial at the Dallas Police Department, after five police officers were killed and eight were wounded in a shooting.
He performed in Paris in 2015, after the terrorist attacks at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the November terrorist attacks that killed 130 people and wounded 494.
He also performed in Istanbul’s Gezi Park during the demonstrations there in 2013, and in Kiev, Ukraine, during the Maidan revolution in 2014.