Before we get to today’s article, Awesome Piano would like to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year! May each and everyone of you have a prosperous year ahead.

After playing for 27 years at the Tacoma Mall Nordstrom store in Washington, United States, pianist Juan Perez, 64, was recently laid off. According to the store manager, changes had to be made to allow a more modern and contemporary setting. Regardless, it was still an extremely emotional moment for Juan during his last session there. Unfortunately, the store was also not able to find an available position for him to fill up.

Well, as the saying goes ‘when one door closes, another one opens’. Just merely a few hours after his last performance, Juan received multiple offers from elsewhere. Eventually, he decided to go with El Gaucho and play for them every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. He started as of last week. “It was wonderful. The first night, it was so busy. There were people all around the piano. They were so nice to me. They filled the tip jar,” Juan explained.

“His evening was awesome. We had quite a few people. They were getting autographs. One thing I really enjoyed, he’s seamless. The transitions. We want to make sure the ambiance and energy tie together. He didn’t miss a beat,” added Joseph Romero, who is the captain of the popular high-end restaurant and nightspot in downtown Tacoma. As mentioned, Juan had other offers at hand too and one of which was a Nevada impresario who manages bookings for the upscale Snoqualmie Casino. Juan agreed to work with them too. That wasn’t the end of it, he was also being asked to perform some small, one-time gigs, private parties, birthday parties and weddings. “I may also play the marimba at the yacht club. I don’t know yet,” he indicated. It seems like Juan is on his way in a new chapter in his life.

As for the Baldwin baby grand piano he played on previously at the Tacoma Mall Nordstrom store, it has been donated and delivered to the music program at Capital High School in Olympia. “We just feel lucky to have it. It’s a piece of history. We’re so excited. We feel so lucky. I wish the piano had a plaque with Mr. Perez’s name on it,” stated Amy Dreesbach, the secretary of Capital High School. You can read more here.

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