(pictured l/r Founder and Artistic Director of Black Box Theatre Reenah Golden and on right a snap shot of Alicia Keys signing the Steinway piano recently gifted to the theatre )
Avenue Black Box Theatre in Rochester has been gifted a Steinway & Sons Piano signed by Alicia Keys via The Grammy’s MusiCares program.
“We’re grateful and honored this piano will now have a home in a space that believes deeply in the power of music and performing arts to change lives. We know its legacy will live in the hearts of generations to come,” said Avenue Blackbox Founder and Artistic Director Reenah Golden.
A Mini Music Marathon featuring Danielle Ponder, Chaz Bruce, Avis Reese, Ari Highsmith, Taryn Highsmith, She Rise and Drea D’Nur officially celebrated the arrival of the Steinway piano. Prominent local artists played the piano during the Mini Music Marathon event last Friday at the theatre located at 780 Joseph Avenue.
Steinway & Sons recently held a special auction to support the MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief. On August 15, a generous bidder won the online auction of a beautiful Steinway-designed Boston 126E upright piano—finished in brilliant turquoise and signed by 15-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer and songwriter Alicia Keys. The final sale generated $35,000 for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief, which seeks to alleviate the enormous financial burden placed on people in the music industry who are adversely impacted by the global pandemic.
“Having performed professional style concerts as a singer at nursing homes for over 25 years, I am aware of the power of music to change lives”, said auction winner Andy Nahas. “I bid on this piano on behalf of MusicPower, a charity I established to support exceptional music related initiatives such as MusiCares. I’m further excited because we’ve chosen to donate the piano to another impressive initiative called the Avenue Blackbox Theatre in Rochester, New York, which will launch an expanded music learning program for inner city youth and adults upon receipt of Alicia’s beautiful Steinway piano. We expect this autographed piano will inspire and motivate many people to make music creation an important part of their lives. I give a big thank you to Steinway, Alicia Keys, and MusiCares for offering this multiple win opportunity!”
The piano, which was donated by Steinway and used by Alicia Keys in her home for three months, was featured in Keys’ social media and was used for a special Amazon livestream event and in a promotion for the 2020 New York Census. Keys’ signature elevates the piano to a one-of-a-kind collector’s item, and its success as an auction item is a testament to both the artist’s reputation and to the goodwill of MusiCares supporters seeking to help music professionals during this very difficult time.
“I feel so blessed that this piano—which has so many personal memories for me—is going to be auctioned for MusiCares, which has helped so many artists and creators and the music community during the pandemic,” said Alicia Keys. “I can’t wait for whoever gets this piano to feel the magic inside of it, and for us to continue to support and love each other.”
“This auction was even more successful than we initially anticipated,” said Ron Losby, President and CEO of Steinway & Sons. “We have Alicia Keys and her stunning musical spirit to thank. Not only did the winner gift $35,000 to MusiCares, he also has committed to place the piano at the inner-city venue in Rochester, New York. Alicia’s piano will inspire and motivate many people for years to come.”