Gifted pianist, 26, who thrives 'with half the equipment'

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New York, July 8 (ANI): Twenty six-year-old Jamey Ray, a gifted pianist, has on numerous occasions wowed listeners with his music. It is only after he ends his performance that his audiences notice his left arm ends at the elbow.

"Most of the time, people can't see behind the piano. My hand moves quickly. It's when they get up for a standing ovation that I notice the look on their faces," The New York Daily News quoted Ray, as saying.

Ray, who was born with the deformed arm, tickles the ivories predominately with his right hand, occasionally using his partial left arm to press on keys.

The upper West Side musician quips he has always worked twice as hard "with half the equipment." but his dedication has paid off.

After Broadway performer Marty Thomas, 30, spotted Ray playing show tunes at an open mic, he asked him to join The Country Band, which includes Ray's childhood pal Rachel Potter, 25.

The trio is currently recording their first album, slated to be released on iTunes this fall.

Ray said: "When I was born, my parents did not know I was going to have just one arm. They always treated me the same as my sisters. I always pursued what I wanted to do. Nobody treated me differently."

Thomas, who was blown away by Ray's piano skills during a set a year ago, said: "I did not realize he only had one arm until I went to meet him. I touched his elbow and asked 'Can we talk about this?'"

Today, the two are roommates and record in their apartment using recording computer software.

When Ray visits New York University, where he goes to rehearse, students sometimes throw a quick glance at him and look away, trying not to be rude.

Ray said: "I know they are wondering 'How did it happen?' Ask me. I was born like that. The end. Once they hear me play, they only notice my music." (ANI)

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