Skip to Content

A homeless man in Sarasota has gone viral and may even find himself employed after stopping pedestrian traffic this week as a result of his music skills.

Meet Donald Gould.

The 51-year old was “discovered” by Aurore Henry after she strolled by him playing the piano as part of the Sarasota Keys Piano Project, which places donated pianos along bustling sidewalks.

Amazed at what she saw and heard, Henry uploaded a video of Gould playing the instrument to her Facebook page… and it has since received over 2.5 million views in just two days.

Local ABC affiliate WWSB tracked Gould down and learned about how he ran out of money three credits short of graduating from pring Arbor University in Michigan… and how his wife died suddenly in 1998… and how he then struggled with substance abuse and lost custody of his young son as a result.

Now, however, a restaurant named Surf Shack is offering to give Gould an audition for a chance to play in their piano bar.

“I hope this humanizes the homeless a little more,” Henry says. “I think it’s important to recognize that what the people on the streets really need is a purpose and a sense of belonging.

"And that’s what Donald is getting.”