A teenager with just four fingers gained so much attention online for his talent on the piano that he was invited by a renowned international pianist to play at Manhattan's iconic Carnegie Hall.
Darrius Simmons, a 15-year-old from Warren, Ohio, was born with three fingers on his right hand and one finger on his left, and no bones below both knees.
He taught himself to play the piano at 10 years old when his grandfather introduced him to the instrument, he told NBC 4 New York, and learned to make his prosthetic legs press the right pedal.
Recently, Simmons began posting videos of himself playing onto Facebook, and they got the attention of Korean pianist Yiruma, who was about to perform at Carnegie Hall on April 22 as part of his first North American tour, the boy said.
"He saw it and invited me to play with him," Simmons told NBC 4 New York over the phone.
Yiruma told Simmons during their first meeting, "All those determination and all that, I learn from you, really," reports Ohio news station WFMJ, which followed Simmons to New York for his performance. "I have so many things that can be learned from you."
"It's just amazing. How can you do that? All those jumps, you must find it really difficult?" said Yiruma after watching the teen play in person.
Simmons replied, "It's not that difficult to me, honestly."
New York concertgoer Kirk Aleman told WFMJ that Simmons' performance "blew me out of the water."
"It was very exciting," Simmons told NBC 4 New York of playing at the storied venue last Friday.
Simmons said he learned to play the piano simply by listening to music and mimicking the notes on the keys.
"I listen to a lot of songs repetitively, over and over, and I guess by doing that, I developed an ear. I can play a lot of music by ear," he said.
His mother said her son has never been inhibited by not having 10 fingers. She said he's been playing instruments at home, at church and at school.
Now that Yiruma has advised Simmons to start working on his own music, "I'm really going to take what he said to heart and compose my own stuff," he told WFMJ.