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Inspirational Jazz Pianist Bruce V. Allen Hits a High Note with His Comeback Post-Stroke

Nov 17, 2023 | Interviews | 0 comments


Music fans, rejoice!

The celebrated inspirational jazz pianist Bruce V. Allen has made a triumphant comeback with his new single “Come Back” after recovering from a stroke. For those of you who may not know him, he’s been an icon in the inspirational jazz scene for many years – renowned for captivating audiences everywhere with his passion and skill on the keyboards. It could have ended when he was struck by a devastating stroke that put a hold on his passions — making music, teaching, and preaching, but he persevered and is back with plenty to share.

Despite these immense obstacles, though, Bruce wasn’t about to give up so easily; after hard work and dedication, here we are today enjoying this inspirational return piece that he’s come out with. His new song is already making waves with his fans – further proving that even during difficult times there’s no denying how talented Mr. Allen remains.

Bruce V. Allen’s Career as an Inspirational Jazz Pianist

Bruce has been active in the industry for over three decades, releasing multiple albums and winning awards as he collaborated and shared the stage with some of the greatest musicians out there.

A well-respected musician who came on the scene as one half of the dynamic duo, Allen & Allen, an inspirational jazz duo that comprised saxophonist Allen Wiggins and pianist Bruce V. Allen, the duo released ten albums with five albums charting on Billboard magazine and Gospel Albums chart.

He’s performed at Carnegie Hall and on NBC’s Today Show and has won two Stellar Awards, four GMWA Awards, a Diamond Award, and the coveted Wayman Tisdale Jazz Award. He’s also shared the stage with greats such as Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Herbie Hancock, Yolanda Adams, Marvin Sapp, Edwin Hawkins, and Melba Moore to name a few.

The Journey through Stroke Recovery

The stroke put a halt to Bruce’s music career and personal life while also leaving him temporarily physically impaired.

After asking God what he did so badly to deserve this setback, he waited over a year to hear from Him. The wait was over when he finally heard a word. God said, ‘Bruce, I can do more with what you have left than what you had before.’ It was from that day he believed and started his way back to playing piano.

“Every song on my project is a testament to God’s creative power!”

It was this remarkable feat of recovery that motivated him to get back in the studio and create his new single, which represents his newfound freedom post-recovery. However, he had to put in the work – re-learning how to talk and play the piano. Physical therapy was an absolute must in aiding his progress toward strength & mobility. He worked hard and showed determination, and credits one friend (Cory) for sticking by him and being a constant in his life. He would come to Bruce’s church consistently and jam with him so that Bruce would not lose faith and just be in the moment of playing his instrument.

Bruce had to make a huge adjustment in playing his instrument though – learning how to play single-finger chords and arpeggios, as he was unable to move some fingers together anymore. Despite all these challenges, he kept going and practicing until he finally, as he puts it,“got his keys back!”

Every note that he plays now is filled with purpose; you can feel through every chord just how much dedication this man has put into what once seemed impossible. His journey exemplifies strength: no matter what hurdles he faces, nothing can break his spirit or stop him from reaching his goals.

The stroke taught him patience. He even started doing devotionals. “The Lord told me to put together meditations,” he says. “I put together 40 biblical meditations that deal with the passage of scripture in depth (2-3 pages long) that will be in my upcoming book.”

A Celebration of Resilience and Passion

“Come Back” has been receiving acclaim across the industry and U.S. radio stations, giving Bruce’s career another chance for growth after a long pause due to his recovery period. All things considered, it could not have come at a better time as now he can concentrate on producing more songs for his upcoming EP while continuing down this musical path while encouraging others with his testimony.

With help from fellow musicians, Bruce eventually got back in the studio. He dedicated entire days to creating melodies and crafting sounds described as a celebration of resilience and passion.

A Sit Down with Bruce V. Allen

Can you discuss any changes in mindset or outlook that have occurred because of your setback?

Bruce:: My purpose is to please God in spite of or despite. My primary focus is not money or name recognition, but it is to truly help someone regardless of what “help” looks like.

Has this setback caused you to reassess your approach to your music career, and if so, how?

Bruce: Lol! This setback has become the set up for the greatest part of my life! I look at my music as a vehicle to introduce people who have not had a genuine relationship with the Creator to the Creator.

How has this experience affected your determination and passion for pursuing a music career?

Bruce: You can feel the passion in my voice for how I am fired up to tell someone about Jesus’ saving grace! Whether that’s through music, speaking, or book form, I am extremely excited to be a mouthpiece!

Are there any specific lessons or insights you’ve gained from this setback that you believe will have a lasting impact on your music career?

Bruce: Yes! I feel like Jacob when he wrestled with the angel of God and the angel touched him on his hip and he was left with a limp. But the limp that Jacob was left with was the greatest blessing he could have ever received because it was a reminder of who God was in his life! God has left some deficits in my gift that remind me every time I play, preach, or write, that it is because of Him I live, move, and have my being!

Have you discovered new strengths or areas of growth as a result of overcoming this setback? How do you plan to leverage them in your music career?

Bruce: I don’t want to get too preachy, but there’s a scripture that says “…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” So, what I realize is whenever I get to my deficit moments, the hand of the Father touches me and causes me to find strength in Him to do what needs to be done.

How has this setback influenced your perspective on success and failure within the music industry?

Bruce: What this setback is teaching me is that there is really no failure in this industry but that you are being an influence on those you meet within this industry.

Have you found any silver linings or unexpected positives that emerged from this setback about your music career?
Bruce: The silver lining is that God will never leave you nor forsake you. Let me put this so that anyone can understand. The Higher Power is always with you no matter where you find yourself in the Universe, and the Higher Power will always bring you out of this low place to a better place.

The release of this special single marks another exciting chapter on Bruce’s voyage towards healing and self-discovery. (H3)

Bruce V. Allen’s incredible comeback is not just an impressive feat – it serves as a reminder of hope in these trying times. After having a stroke and enduring the long road to recovery, he proves that no matter how difficult things get, you can still pursue your passion if you don’t give up and keep the faith!

“Come Back” is an anthem for persistence and exemplifies resilience and passion.

Grab Bruce V. Allen’s new single here or on all social media platforms. And while you’re at it, get the Allen & Allen holiday project, “Christmas Like Never Before” available at Amazon and other music platforms.

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Written by Phyllis Caddell

 Phyllis Caddell is the founder and lead strategist for PCPR Communications, a Los Angeles-based PR and Strategic Communications agency with clients in the entertainment, business, lifestyle, and sports, industries. She is a contributing author of the best-selling book "Your Deck of Success" and the author of "Do-It-Yourself Publicity: For Those Too Cheap or Too Broke to Hire A Publicist". A subject matter expert and an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University, she enjoys traveling and relaxing on the beach.  

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