‘I am a violinist for peace and love’ – The Republic

Posted: June 18, 2020 at 4:44 am

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Even those whove initially bristled with street violinist Colin Matthews have experienced a heart-melting transformation after hearing his music.

That includes a police officer who tried to shoo him away from an area of Fishermans Wharf in 1994 in San Francisco even though Matthews had a permit to be there and perform. Matthews insisted on playing Ava Maria for the officer initially bent on arresting him. In fact, as it it turned out, the musician played the song for the cop day after day after day for some time while the public servant listened, emotional and transfixed.

Every time I started to play, something would happen, Matthews said. His face would change. Then he would drive away.

The 57-year-old Matthews, an Indianapolis resident, will bring that same sense of outreach and melodic bridge building as he plans a four-hour street concert beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday in front of Buccetos Pizza and Pasta Restaurant at The Commons, 300 Washington St. in downtown Columbus.

(Colin Matthews)

Violinist Colin Matthews performs at a past function. Submitted photo

Violinist Colin Matthews is shown at a past performance. Submitted photo

I am a violinist for peace and love, he said, speaking while relaxing outside his Indianapolis home. I have seen and learned that how you approach people in life can make a huge difference.

Clearly, he loves people. Part of his conversation, tinged with his native Trinidadian accent, was interrupted occasionally by his exuberant greetings toward neighbors and passersby.

If he sounds joyful, its because he is indeed. He overcame serious burns after an oil refinery fire years ago. His heart stopped for roughly seven minutes after a surgery in 1985 in the wake of one of his many motorcycle accidents. He remembers a glorious, spiritual, inner experience in which he was made of light and felt no fear.

All I could feel was unconditional, stupendous love, he said of the memory. And this was not because of mushrooms or weed.

He laughed heartily. He plays tunes from Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, the Eagles, Elvis, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Frank Sinatra and others.

I especially love the love songs, he said. I am in love with love.

If he sounds like a salve for troubled times such as these, so be it. How can he not be grateful just to be alive and sharing his heart through music? Thats why he refused to be angry when a woman on the Monon Trail in Broad Ripple reported him to Indianapolis police last week before he even had played a note outdoors.

A mention about the incident drew attention on Facebook, where a nearby business owner invited him to come play outside his establishment nearby. Many others posted a defense of him and support for his music.

I saw people showing their love as an awesome thing, Matthews said.

So he said he will continue to do the same as an everyday citizen called to be an instrument of joy in a sometimes saddened world.

I am simply a man who has experienced an awful lot, he said.

Lately, when he has played at nursing homes, he has begun sharing parts of those experiences, including his after-death recollection.

You should never be fearful of death, he said.

Maybe the only thing he fears is missing opportunities to reach others with his music, especially since the novel coronavirus limited gatherings where he might normally appear.

Buccetos owner Paul Heilbrunn not only has a business relationship with the musician. The two have become personal friends.

Colin is great, and people really enjoy sitting and watching and listening to him on the patio, Heilbrunn said. Hes very, very good.

Matthews played indoors at Buccetos when the restaurant celebrated its grand opening. He also has played at local events ranging from the Ethnic Expo international festival to the Taste of Columbus restaurant event.

He holds fast to one element of his after-death experience in which he was told that only two elements of life reign supreme: loving and being loved.

That, he said, really changed my life.

About Colin Matthews

Born: Trinidad.

Lives: Indianapolis.

Age: 57.

Next street concert: 4 p.m. Saturday in front of Buccetos Pizza and Pasta Restuarant at The Commons in downtown Columbus.

Has played: Classical to pop on the violin.

Also has played; Ethnic Expo international festival, A Taste of Columbus, and other events.

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'I am a violinist for peace and love' - The Republic

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June 18th, 2020 at 4:44 am

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