By Robbie Owens

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The audience reacts with both stunned surprise and delight as 11-year-old Jose Andre Montano touches the keyboard.  The fact that he was born blind, and with cerebral palsy, only adds to the respect for his talent.

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“When I sit down at the piano and start playing,” says Jose, “I feel really excited. Really happy. I feel like I’m flying in the sky.”

Born in Bolivia, his speech is careful; but, exuberant – much like his music. English is his second language – he speaks three.  The one that needs no translation has left some in the audience at the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind in tears.

“The people like me, how I play.  That’s why I don’t want to stop…make me really happy.”

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Jose says he first touched a piano keyboard at three and a half, and initially taught himself to play.

He dreams of becoming a professional musician one day, and would love to play with some of his jazz idols. “I like Chick Corea, and my favorite one of course is Herbie Hancock.”

Drawing inspiration from a world that is shrouded in darkness, Jose also composes and says he would encourage other young people to follow their dreams.

The concert Wednesday for employees at the Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind will be followed by a small benefit concert for the non-profit at 7:00 PM Friday at Kitchen Cafe in Dallas.

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