Homeless Man Takes Mic from Busker – Blows Everyone’s Minds
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
A homeless man in a wheelchair joined a street musician for a spontaneous New Year’s Eve street jam in the early hours of 2016 – and the result was incredible
British musician Jonny Walker said:
I went out busking in Leeds on New Year’s Eve and, after a while, was joined by a homeless man in a wheelchair who asked if he could sing with me. As a busker, I spend a lot of time on the streets and had seen this man many times over the years, but didn’t know he was singer, and, as the years had gone by, his health and wellbeing seemed to have worsened a great deal. We jammed out a version of ‘Summertime’ and I was blown away by his voice so I stopped a passerby and asked them to capture the moment on my camera phone and then uploaded the video to my Facebook page where it quickly went viral as thousands of people shared it.
Walker identified the man and savored the experience:
My spontaneous street jam with Bernard Davey was a soul-affirming, enriching experience which summed up everything I love about street culture. The streets are full of wonderful surprises and stories. I hope Bernard’s amazing improvised version of ‘Summertime’ helps people to remember not to judge people they see on the streets according to their appearances, but to always look below the surface appearance and find the person underneath.
WATCH and read more below:
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Jonny is not just popular on English streets – he ingeniously livestreams all his “busk work” so that the rest of the world can enjoy his sweet tunes and be a part of the many surprises. (Recently, a drunken group of women, later joined by men, swarmed his “stage” and belted out “My Heart Will Go On” and “My Humps.”)
But Walker – the son of a preacher man – isn’t just passionate about his full-time performing. He is an activist too. Or, should we say “artivist.”
Believe it or not he shares a common bond with Davey. They do their living on the streets which can leave them vulnerable to the authorities.
“Moments like these are why I founded the Keep Streets Live Campaign, a not for profit organisation which advocates for public spaces which are open to informal offerings of art and music and campaigns against the criminalisation of homelessness and street culture,” he said.
Walker did a sponsored, sober year in 2016 to raise funds for Inn Churches – an outreach that provides emergency accommodation for the homeless in churches during the cold winter months and intercepts food waste to give to the hungry.
You may support Jonny Walker on his Patreon.
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