Harding piano prodigy with 4 fingers to play at African-American fest


Darrius Simmons, 15, a Warren G. Harding High School student with four fingers, played piano at Carnegie Hall in New York a month ago. On Saturday, he’ll show people close to home his inspiring talent.

Simmons was featured on NBC News and 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, when he played alongside world-renowned Korean pianist Yiruma, who invited Simmons to perform after Yiruma viewed Simmons’ talents in a video.

Simmons will play at the Trumbull County African American Achievers Association annual festival at 6 p.m. Saturday on Courthouse Square.

Simmons was born with fewer fingers than most people and without the bones below his knees, but he taught himself how to play the piano, even making his prosthetic legs work the piano’s pedals.

Simmons likes the Yiruma song “River Flows In You” and played it on a video. It led Yiruma to invite Simmons to play at Yiruma’s show at Carnegie Hall.

After watching Darrius play in person, Yiruma said, “It’s just amazing. How can you do that? All those jumps. You must find it really difficult?” Darrius replied: “It’s not that difficult to me, honestly,” according to WFMJ.

Read more about him and the festival in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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