Amazing young blind pianist gets to play for Jools Holland

Jools Holland with Isabella King and mum Elizabeth
Jools Holland with Isabella King and mum Elizabeth

A talented blind pianist from Swineshead was invited by celebrity musician and impresario Jools Holland to play for him ahead of one of his shows.

Isabella King has just turned nine-years-old but already demonstrates exceptional skill on the ivories.

Her talents were noticed by the manager of the Embassy Theatre in Skegness who showed a video of the youngster playing to Jools Holland.

Mr Holland was equally impressed and invited Isabella and her mum Elizabeth to a private meet-and-greet to show off her keyboard skills before his show at the venue.

“Isabella has a natural flair and is very intuitive, playing A Level music and Grade 5 pieces and everything else by ear.” said mum Elizabeth. “She always jazzes things up a little and so many times I have heard myself saying, ‘She’s like a mini Jools Holland’.”

It was while watching a BBC documentary on Jools Holland that she noticed many similarities with her daughter: “It struck a chord with me as he said something about his need to play the piano helped put everything in order for him during quite a chaotic childhood, something I have said many times too about Isabella,” she said.

“I just think they are so similar, except that Isabella is blind.”

Theatre manager Pollyanne Trapmore-Shaw said she was ‘humbled’ by the child’s talent and confident performance: “It is every contemporary piano players dream to have the opportunity to showcase and receive words of encouragement from someone who has done so much for the live jazz music scene,” she said.

“Isabella really deserved this chance, we are very grateful to Jools for giving her this.”

Elizabeth added: “It’s been the most amazing experience. I’m sure she’ll be asking if Jools is coming again next week!”

Isabella, who was born blind, has been nominated for a Boston Standard Pride Award in the child achiever category. She will find out if she has won at the awards night being held on Friday.