Music is a powerful instrument.
It can “soothe the savage beast” and “express that which cannot be said.”
For Realtor and Kahala Associates broker-owner Jeffrey Fox, music is the perfect venue to give back to the community he serves. Every Monday from 3:30 to 5 p.m., Fox entertains the patients of Hi’olani Care Center at Kahala Nui retirement community.
“I make financial contributions to other charities, but I felt I needed to spend time directly helping other people,” Fox says, listing Malama Maunalua, Lanakila Meals on Wheels and Aloha United Way as the beneficiaries of his generosity.
“I don’t get very much time to play the piano anymore,” he adds, “and I thought contributing my talent to ease others’ pain would be the best venue for volunteer work.”
As the care center residents relax with papaya smoothies and snacks, Fox, a native New Yorker, plays a mix of classical, popular and Broadway tunes along with the “old standards” from Cole Porter and George Gershwin.
“I’ve been playing the piano since age 8, so I’ve been playing for almost 50 years!” says Fox, who studied piano through college and specialized in teaching adults and performing at professional functions in Honolulu before going into real estate 21 years ago.
“My youngest brother, Barry, also played the piano and we both studied with the same teacher,” he adds. “He struggled for decades with severe schizophrenia, and playing the piano brought him much-welcomed solace and joy in his life.”
Barry passed away two years ago, and Fox says it was at this time that he was inspired to share his gifts with others.
“It brings me a lot of comfort to remember Barry by bringing my music to others in pain,” Fox states. “I’m an advocate for using the performing arts as a way to give back to the community.”
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