Norah Jones Recalls Performing For George Harrison With John Lennon’s Piano

Sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar‘s daughter, Norah Jones, recently reminisced about the time she played the piano for George Harrison on what turned out to be John Lennon‘s piano during an appearance on ‘Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend.’ Although she was young and didn’t know the piano belonged to Lennon at the time, it was a sweet moment that she got to share with Harrison and her dad.

When Jones turned eighteen, she reconnected with her dad, and in one of her visits to London, they all went to George Harrison’s house for dinner. Shanker and Harrison had a deep connection that went beyond a surface level, where the Beatles idolized and looked up to Jones’s father for wisdom and advice surrounding Indian music and religion. In fact, he eventually became Shanker’s student and learned to play the sitar.

So Harrison was excited to meet Jonas and was pleased that she and his mentor, in a way, had patched their relationship. Norah then recalled the moment her dad told George about her playing the piano, which turned into a moment where, without even comprehending the meaning of the moment, she had the chance to play Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘The Nearness Of You,’ on one of Lennon’s piano to Harrison.

Norah Jones’ words about playing John Lennon’s piano for George Harrison:

“You’re reminding me I have played a very famous piano, and I got to go to Friar Park and meet George Harrison. Dhani [Harrison, George Harrison’s son] was there and Olivia [Harrison, George Harrison’s wife] when I first reconnected with my dad. I was 18 years old, we finally reconnected, and we got very close over the years after that, so it was a great thing.

I remember I landed in London to visit them for the first time in a long time, and they were like, ‘We’re going to George’s house for dinner, so take a nap and clean up.’ I was like, ‘Okay, whatever.’ I didn’t know we were going to George Harrison’s house.”

She added:

“Anyway, I was oblivious, you know, I was jet lagged and young, and we got there, and he was so sweet, yeah, and he was so happy to see me and my dad reconnect. It was a crazy night, and I was half jet-lagged throughout the whole thing. But he asked me to play for him because my dad told him that I was this piano player, and I was like okay because I just was like, you know, I knew who he was at that point, of course, so I sat down at this piano which now I know – I didn’t at the time, but I think it was one of John Lennon’s pianos.

I didn’t know this at the time, and I was kind of just oblivious to the whole meaning of the moment, but I sat down, and I played an old Hoagy Carmichael song called ‘The Nearness Of You,’ and he was so sweet, and it was just a very funny moment that I just now remembered.”

Even though Norah later found out that the piano was a famous one and did indeed belong to John Lennon, and that she had played it for none other than George Harrison, it remains a funny and special moment she recalled about her visit to London after she had gotten closer to her dad.