08 March 2019

Clavier Crashes On San Francisco Street

He performed in front of the Bataclan in Paris just after terrorists attacked it in 2015:

And he's played in all sorts of "trouble spots", including war zones, all over the world.

Wherever he's gone, Davide Martello, a.k.a. Klavierkunst, has played the baby grand piano he's brought with him.  

Aside from his playing, what's interesting about him is the way he's transported his instrument--behind a bicycle.

That worked very well for him, even on some rugged terrain.  But neither his bike nor his piano made could navigate one American city's geography.

Ironically, he was on his way to San Francisco's Hyde Street Pier, a more peaceful spot than others in which he's played.  He was "in a hurry" to get there and find a parking spot, he said, when he started riding down Bay Street between Columbus and Leavenworth.  

What he didn't realize, until it was too late, is that particular stretch of Bay Street has a 17.4 percent gradient.  While Martello, his piano and his bike have survived all sorts of attacks and indignities, his brakes were no match for the descent.

He doesn't yet know whether the piano is salvageable.  At least he didn't get hurt:  He jumped off the bike before it crashed.


  1. In the early eighties I decided to build a trailer to carry camping gear and photo equipment, there were no trailer choices available at the time. My lockable box was a fraction of the size of that piano and gave me the scariest moments of my cycling life as that extra momentum pushed brakes beyond their limits!!! Thankfully there was a major part failure 150 miles from home and I was lucky to be able to get home by train from one of the few stations in the highlands of Scotland. It never left home again.

  2. Wow. Wouldn't you hate to see that thing careening toward you?