While travelling internationally as a North American is by no means a novel concept, every so often someone does it a little differently, capturing the world's collective attention in the process. Few phenomenon stimulate the human spirit quite like music, and a unique example of using musical performance as a focal point of the travelling experience is the story of Outspeaker Dotan Negrin.
Feeling lost and disconnected in his home city of New York, Negrin departed in 2010 on an ambitious round-the-world tour. While this is not on its own a remarkable story, what makes Dotan stand out is his choice of luggage, namely a stand-up piano on wheels. His mission: to connect with global citizens through impromptu musical performances in any and every setting you can imagine. Dotan's YouTube channel documents his five-year ongoing journey through the United States, Central and South America, and Europe. In the process, he captures some beautiful moments, including a stunning performance in California's picturesque Malibu Canyon:
And an impromptu jazz duet in the streets of Paris, France:
Dotan's journey has captured significant media attention, including coverage by CBS News, People Magazine, CNN, Fox News, Mashable, Rolling Stone Magazine, and was even spun into a Goodyear Latin America commercial. Beyond his YouTube channel, follow Negrin's story on his website, Periscope, Facebook and Twitter. A tweet dated April 5 indicated that Dotan's next stop was Sedona, Arizona, so if you're in the area, look for a man and his piano where you'd least expect to be serenaded. Reached through his Facebook page and asked about what's next for him, Dotan indicated that 'the journey never ends...it evolves', and that he hopes to inspire people around the world to learn the language of music.
While Dotan's travels and abilities on the piano are undoubtedly impressive, a 'musical OG' by the name of Johann Sebastian Bach puts it all in perspective: "There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time, and the instrument plays itself". Amen, Johann.