Jefferson Award: Ian Harper

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His musical talents have lit up the room since a young age. Now, he is putting those talents to work. As a member of the Kentucky Blues Society Ian Harper has been instrumental at recent charity events.

"Lately he has done some exceptional efforts. He has represented us in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in a youth showcase. He also handled performance coordination and for Kelly Autism Program Benefit," says Ken Smith from the Kentucky Blues Society.

But the reach of Ian and his talent continue to make an impact on the youth in our community through the Kentucky Blues Society teen jam.

"We want to try something where it was teens interacting with teens. He came to our first Teen Jam and got on stage and did great and enjoyed it and kept coming back. Then he began interacting with adults and he is able to play with any ensemble now. He has been really good at making the young players feel comfortable and kind of be a mentor. In other words they feel more comfortable talking to someone close to their own age," says Smith.

Ian says he knows how fortunate he is to showcase his own musical talent on his own musical instruments. It's an opportunity he hopes all kids can have.

"A lot of those kids I guess may not have money for lessons or even if they did have lessons they don't have a lot of experience on stage so I tried to help them out," says Ian.

Who better to open the eyes of area youth to the sounds of music? From drums, to keyboard, and guitar, Ian can just about do it all.

"I played drums for about six years or so and then I kinda got bored so I taught myself guitar and keyboard and ukulele even thought most people probably don't even know what that is," says Ian.

While his talents may come natural, Ian says music has always been an influence since a young age.

"Just that it's a way to express myself. I mean some people have writing and stuff like that. I just love music. It has always been a part of me," says Ian.

He grew up with his father being a musician. Jeffrey Harper says the combination of musical notes and helping others has expanded into Ian's social life.

"It has opened up a world to expanded friendships for Ian. I think he really wants to share that with others. I know that with that show he was doing, the fundraiser for Kelly Autism, he brought in a lot of his friends from across a couple states to come perform with him as well as kids he has done young artist shows here in town," says Jeffrey Harper.

As a mother of a young musician, Kelly Harper says there is nothing more rewarding than seeing her son on stage.

"I'm very proud of him. Very proud of him and he always seems calm when he's up there and confident, but I'm very proud of him and especially when he plays his music for charity and to help other people out," says Kelly Harper.

As the strings are strung on his guitar Ian hopes he can continue to make an impact on our community.

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