Heroes

“Public Pianos give people an opportunity to connect”, what else is new?! So far we spoke about connecting in places like Central Park uptown Manhattan or Lakeside Geneva. We blogged about meeting tourists and local bystanders, all with their own walks of life, but on average gifted amongst gifted people. Had we been born in Central Africa, getting to places like Time Square NYC would be a dream, provided we’d know about its existence. If – on top of that – life itself didn’t exactly deal us pocket Aces, connecting to others might be one of few chances we’d get to a better future.

Meet Fabio Tedde aka Pianist Without Borders, musician, composer, philanthropist. We’ve played the streets with him all around the globe and have experienced he’s a Piano Pilgrim in the outer category. When others sleep, he plays on and when we faint, he’s still shining. Reason for this introduction: Not only does he truly care about the people he meets but he uses his many artistic gifts and his network of friends to help others, beyond borders indeed… If you’re affected with albinism in mid-Africa, if you lost both your parents or suffer from deafness, meeting Fabio will not solve any of your issues, but we can tell you: you’ll feel his energy, his positivity and you just might get some inspiration out of his never ceasing life credo:

One Love!

That brings us to the first Hero Piano in our blog:

With help from 2 journalists, Travelmaker Kai and Annette Griffith, own savings and various donations, the piano was purchased and carefully art-worked in London (UK), designed by and co-created with friend-artist Bobbi Bicker. In London, Fabio got instructed by befriended piano tuner Guillaume on how to basically maintain a piano. He was kind enough to handover some tools to take to Africa.

October 2016, on a pallet with fresh water and children’s toys, this piano got air-lifted to Istanbul (TK), on to Entebbe Airport in Uganda, over 4300 miles (> 7000 km). Many of his friends and donators were involved in the operation, but Fabio was both at sending- and receiving side of this ultimate child-magnet.


Upon arrival in Uganda, the piano was first taken to Ndegeya Village – about 150 km from Kampala city – for a 3 month tour across Uganda.

On the tour, this piano reached well over 5000 children in countless orphanages, schools and events organized around it. The vast majority of these children had never seen or heard a piano before.

It brought smiles to so many faces when it arrived, tears to their eyes when it moved on.

After the tour, Fabio donated the piano to Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design (NIAAD) where – to this day – this piano is lovingly maintained, played and embraced by many.

Obviously, many of the 5000+ children will cherish their own stories to the piano encounter. To mention a few, perhaps for a later in-depth blog:

  • Many of the children simply couldn’t believe that the instrument could produce so many different sounds and colors, without electricity. Students would walk around it looking for the hidden cable.
  • A school for deaf children was extremely happy with their first piano encounter, since all could FEEL the sounds and frequency differences of 88 keys, instead of hearing it. Students would stay close to it, touch it whenever possible.
  • Note we’re in mid-Africa. Black piano keys absorb a lot more heat than white keys. They do swell, therefore get stuck much more often and then need tender, love and care. It’s up to local hero NIAAD student Derrick to fix those keys, keeping this piano playable for all children. Respect to you, my young friend!
  • Last for now, is this truly a public piano? Well, yes it is, in fact it’s the only African public piano in our listings. As long as you pre-announce yourselves, respect class-hours and local instructions, you’ll be welcomed as our next hero, playing this remarkable piano. No doubt, mentioning Fabio’s name might help 😉

    Credits for this Hero Piano

    Facebook SiteInstaTwitterYoutubeSoundCloud
    Fabio TeddePianist, Composer, InitiatorFabio TeddeFabio Insta@FabioTeddeFabio TeddeFabio Tedde
    Bobbi BickerMulti-dimensional Artist & DesignerValbona BickerBobbi Insta @BobbiBicker
    Travelmaker KaiUK based journalist, fundraiser, co-traveler to UgandaTravelmaker Kai BlogTravelmaker Kai@makingkai
    Annette GriffithUK based journalist, fundraiser, co-traveler to Uganda
    Derrick KittoTeacher NIAAD, tunes this piano
    Derrick PaulStudent NIAAD, fixes this piano

    Stay safe, enjoy Playing!

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  • 1 Comment

    1. Fabio Tedde is really a nice person. I don’t have enough words to describe him. I just wanna say “May God bless him always! “

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