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Fort Wayne musician plays accordion to bring joy, hope to nursing home residents amid pandemic

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - A Fort Wayne musician is using his talents to bring joy and hope to nursing home residents amid the pandemic.

63-year-old Jay Fox has been playing the accordion for 57 years. However, he's no average musician.

He said he has won five state titles, and four national championships for playing the accordion.

Throughout his career, Fox has performed at several festivals and shows across the state and country, Fox said, and he has performed for several nursing homes in Fort Wayne for the past 30 years.

Fort Wayne's NBC News caught up with Fox on Wednesday at the Kingston Care Center of Fort Wayne, a nursing home and rehabilitation center located at 1010 West Washington Center Road in Fort Wayne, who performed for the residents. Fox has performed at the care center for many years.

He said he wanted to uplift the residents' spirits amid the pandemic.

"When you get back into music, it only takes a couple minutes of playing, and all of a sudden you feel like you did before the pandemic," Fox said. "It's just that quick. It erases that time period of more than a year in that instant, and hope it does it for the people also."

Leaders at the care center said Fox's performance was the first outdoor event for the residents in months. They said the pandemic has taken a toll on many residents, since many of them were not able to see their loved ones for more than a year in order to keep them safe from COVID-19.

They said seeing the residents' dance and sing along with Fox was priceless.

"The residents just came alive. It was amazing," said Vi Musser, recreation assistant at Kingston Care Center. "When I told them Jay Fox was coming, and we were going to have a performance outside, they were ecstatic. They couldn't believe it."

Fort Wayne's NBC News saw many of the residents dancing to the rhythm of the beat.

One woman said she hasn't felt this happy in months.

To learn more about Jay Fox, please click here.

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Louie Tran

Louie Tran is the weekend anchor for Fort Wayne’s NBC at 6 and 11pm and a weekday general assignment reporter. To share story ideas, please email him at ltran@wpta21.com.

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