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Man who played piano at destroyed Kentucky home performs at the Opry

Surrounded by rubble and with his home missing its roof, a Kentucky man decided to play his piano. It touched the hearts of people across the country.
Credit: WSMV

BREMEN, Ky. — In the hours after a tornado tore his home wide open, Jordan Baize knew only one thing could put his mind at ease — playing his piano.

“It was a scary time,” Baize said. “I couldn’t really focus my thoughts, center my mind on a task.”

He focused instead on his piano, left standing in his Bremen home, which no longer had a roof. It was surrounded by rubble, exposed to the elements. From his living room, he could look up and see the sky.

“Even if it’s in bad shape, I want to get to play it one more time,” he thought. 

In the days that followed that heartwarming moment, captured by his sister, would go viral. It moved people across the country.

“For me, it was just a private moment, really, of reflection,” Baize explained. “Maybe I wouldn’t have scripted life the way it [looked] that Saturday morning, with my roof missing and us trying to pick up things that could be salvaged in our home. I might not have [written] the script that way, but I have to believe that good will come out of it.” 

The good came quickly. He got a call from a family friend, Jason Crabb.

“He said, ‘You know, I’m playing the Opry on Friday, and I want to bring you along,’” Baize recalled.

The following Friday night, he was center stage.

“The contrast was disorienting,” he said. “The previous Friday night, my home had been blown away. And this Friday night, I was sitting at the piano at the Grand Ole Opry playing a song that hopefully spoke to the hearts of the people all around the world.”

From one of the world’s most iconic stages, Baize said he played to keep Kentucky in the spotlight. 

“I wanted to make sure that I was there in the right spirit, which was in the spirit of honoring folks that passed away and spirit of reflection on all that was lost,” he said. “Even in the midst of the storm, we should be thankful for the small things and really try to reorder our priorities.”

Jason Crabb is collecting donations for victims of tornadoes through his non-profit organization, Forever Ministries. You can donate at https://foreverministriesinc.com/donations/ky-tornado-relief/

This story was originally reported by WSMV in Nashville.

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