Playing On

21 January 2015 Katherine Smyrk

Playing On

“When I finally ask Jean if she will play for me, there is no hesitation. She sits down on the piano seat and places her fragile-looking hands on the keys. At first she’s a little flustered, eyeing my tape recorder. But when she starts again, her fingers suddenly become those of a 20-year-old. The tune ‘Stardust’ ripples out from the keys and fills the room. She closes her eyes, leans back slightly and her hands dance.”

Jean McDougall is not your average 92-year-old. She has, in fact, just recorded her second album, 92 Not Out.

I went and spoke to Jean about her parents, learning to play by ear and performing around Victoria with a travelling theatre company.

Then, on the same piano she has been playing almost every day since she was seven years old, she played me a tune.

Her full story is in Ed#475, on sale now!

Listen to her recording of Stardust here: