A soulful singer’s ship comes in

Here we go again with another one of those “a guy goes to Web design school, becomes a blues musician instead, takes a job in a cruise ship piano lounge, and is discovered on the high seas and recruited by Microsoft” stories.

Yawn. Cliché. Tale as old as time, right? No? Let’s try that again.

A guy walks into a bar. The guy is Bryan Roper, and the bar is Egg Bar in Davos, Switzerland.

“You see that a lot in Europe – places with names like ‘Sports Land Restaurant,’” Roper said.

It’s January, and after a long day of technological show-and-tell at World Economic Forum, the Microsoft marketing manager ducked into Egg Bar looking for an ATM. That’s when he spotted it – a piano.

“I’d been working a lot, and away from my piano. I asked the bartender there if she would mind if I played a bit,” Roper said. “She looked at me like I might play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’”

She hesitated. “Umm …”

“It used to be my job,” Roper told her reassuringly. “And if it bothers anybody, I’ll stop.”

Roper sat down on the piano bench and put his hands on the keys. He started playing his soul, which sounds a lot like the blues, and prepared to hear groans from the room.

Read the full profile at microsoft.com/stories.