A world-famous jazz pianist from Japan, Tadataka Unno, may have lost his ability to play – for life – after a group of angry teenagers assaulted him in New York City. The violence occurred along a subway stop in Harlem when the 40-year-old was leaving the station. The group ambushed the artist, attacking him with vehemence. The group punched him in the face and around his body, which resulted in a broken collar bone and other injuries that may affect his career as a piano man.
The group that attacked the pianist consisted of eight teenagers. The 40-year-old jazz pianist was attacked out of nowhere when he exited the Manhattan subway station along West 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem on September 27, 2020. The group of teens blocked the turnstiles and confronted him – they were prepared to fight for no apparent reason.
Although Unno tried to ignore the group and walk past them, they accosted him from behind. Because of their latent rage, they lashed out at the pianist, brutally beating him all over.
Unno was rushed to Harlem Hospital and went into emergency surgery on his shoulder.
“‘I had no idea why I was shoved. One of them pointed at me and said, This guy just pushed me’ to her peers. This was not true,” Unno told CNN. “One of the others said, ‘She’s pregnant,’ as if to imply that I had just attacked a pregnant person.”
He told CNN, “I might never play again. The trauma, both physical and mental, are severe, and I have no timeline for a full recovery.”
A friend of the pianist, Jerome Jennings, created a GoFundMe page to help pay for the man’s recovery.
Jennings wrote, “On Sunday, September 27, 2020, Tada was attacked and badly beaten in New York City by eight assailants just a few blocks from his home. The assailants broke Tada’s right collar bone, bruised his head and body. After the beating, Tada was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room, spent time in the hospital, and may need an operation. He suffers from trauma from this attack. Tada provides for his family by playing the piano. Due to his broken collar bone, he cannot play and does not know when he will be able to.”
What makes the situation even more devastating is that Unno and his wife, Sayaka, welcomed a baby into the world only a few months ago. Now the medical bills are piling up since America makes the victim pay for such things.
Jennings wrote, “Your donations will go towards emergency medical bills, physical therapy, rent, utilities, groceries, mental health support (therapy), taxis, moving expenses (in order to move to a neighborhood where they feel safer), and childcare.”
According to the fundraising page, “Tadataka Unno is a husband, good friend, father, and one of the brightest lights in jazz piano. He has performed in the working bands of Jimmy Cobb, Roy Hargrove, Winard Harper, John Pizzarelli, Clifton Anderson, and many other greats.”
What do you think about this senseless attack on the streets of New York City?
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