BARTOW (FOX 13) - Instead of playing in a concert hall, a man has been spotted playing his violin in the parking lots of shopping plazas around Polk County. At this point, he's only known as the Mystery Musician, but many wonder how such an accomplished artist came to perform on the streets for donations.
Eddie Ramirez ran into him in the parking lot of the Bartow Walmart a few Saturday nights ago. Ramirez posted video of the Mystery Musician performing on his Facebook page. He says he was amazed to find such talent in such an unexpected place.
"Just walked out of the car, and there he is, playing his violin, live," Ramirez told FOX 13. "Just awesome. Really, really good."
In the video, a sign is visible near the Mystery Musician, which says he has a wife and two kids, with another possibly on the way. A pregnant woman is standing in the background. A violin case is open for donations.
"Who knows where his life has taken him that he has to do this to try and make a living to support his family," commented Ramirez.
The musician has been popping up all over Polk County. He has been spotted in North Lakeland, Auburndale, and elsewhere. On the night Ramirez bumped into him, he was playing "All of Me," by John Legend.
Ramirez, a musician himself, was impressed. But so was accomplished international director and assistant professor in the Music Department of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Dr. Kira Omelchenko.
"It is apparent that he has a really good ear and that he has a passion for playing the violin," Dr. Omelchenko, said. "Anyone who has that kind of ability and that big of a heart to share their music, they're an artist."
It is still unknown if and when the mystery musician is going to pop up again.
A few years ago, a homeless Sarasota man was videoed by a random spectator in a public space. The video went viral, and the man's life changed. He cut a CD and, from the money he earned, bought a house.