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Friday, February 5, 2010

Roosevelt Island Resident & Pianist Roy Eaton Plays Meditative Chopin & Joyful Joplin At Sunday Afternoon Concert - Will He Play Beefaroni Jingle Too?

Image of Roy Eaton at Roosevelt Island's Good Shepherd Chapel from NY Times

As part of the Sunday afternoon Church of the Good Shepherd Concert Series, renowned Roosevelt Island resident and pianist Roy Eaton will be perfoming:
The Meditative Chopin and Joyful Joplin
starting at 2:30 PM at the Church located at 543 Main Street. A sample of Mr. Eaton's work.

Mr. Eaton was recently one of the subjects profiled in a NY Times article about the Sugar Hill neighborhood of Manhattan where many accomplished African Americans grew up as children.

According to the NY Times:
... The son of a taxi mechanic, Roy Eaton was a childhood piano prodigy who became a trailblazer in advertising. His friends on the block included the artist and writer Faith Ringgold; Cecelia Hodges, a Princeton professor and actress; and Sonny Rollins, the “saxophone Colossus,” who is still touring....
and:
... His growth as a pianist continued through college, though his concert career petered out after he served in the military during the Korean War.

He ended up as a copywriter and composer at an advertising agency, a rarity for a black man in the 1950s. He wrote jingles, including the one for Beefaroni, a pop-culture standard burned into a generation’s collective subconscious. (“We’re having Beefaroni. It’s made with macaroni. ...”)

None of his accomplishments were unusual for him, he said, even if others thought they were.

“I went through my life as if racial prejudice did not exist,” he said.

Now the father of 7-year old twins, he is reminded daily of his own early energy. The piano he learned on rests in the softly lighted sanctuary of the Episcopal church next door to his home on Roosevelt Island. In his apartment, the walls feature portraits of him in performance, as well as a quilt by his friend Faith, with women dancing around the George Washington Bridge.

“I am still that little boy that sees an unlimited horizon,” he said....
Great article. Read the whole thing.

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