The stars came out if full for the 25th anniversary of the HollyRod Foundation‘s DesignCare Gala. The gala is an annual event, hosted by the foundation to support and make a difference in the lives of those who are living with Autism and Parkinson’s disease. Among the distinguished attendees was 11-year-old child piano prodigy, Jude Keyz, who not only graced the occasion but also received the prestigious Heroes Award.


Jude Nyame Yie Kofie, aka Jude Keyz, was diagnosed with autism a few years before his parents discovered his prodigious skill for playing the piano.

Music is not foreign to the Kofie home as Isaiah, Jude’s father, is a musician who came to the United States from Ghana, settling in Aurora, Colorado. One morning, the family heard piano music coming from their basement, to their surprise, it was Jude. Jude had never touched the ivory keys before.

“I was here watching the news when I heard him play something,” Isaiah said in a previous interview. “So I grabbed my phone, went down there, and was like, ‘Dude, play that again.’”

From there, the father-duo team of musicians started a YouTube channel of Jude’s musical journey and the rest is history. Jude has bloomed into an internet sensation with everyone wanting to interview the amazing young man. The pre-teen was even gifted a grand piano and a piano teacher by a news viewer, who took interest in the young man’s story, saying that watching Jude play was like, “looking into the face of God.”

In addition to having received the grand piano and piano teacher from Bill, Jude also has gained a mentor…the Kelly Clarkson Show musical director, Jason Halbert. Halbert and Clarkson made Jude’s ultimate dream come true…the opportunity to play on stage with his favorite artist, CeCe Winans.

In addition to Jude, there were a plethora of A-listers on hand at The Beehive in Los Angeles to celebrate the night. The list of attendees included: Tiffany Haddish, Tina Knowles, Constance Marie, Raven Symoné, Smokey Robinson, Skai Jackson, Kimora Lee Simmons, Kyla Pratt, Arsenio Hall, Sugar Ray Leonard, Anthony “Spice” Adams, Tisha Campbell, Christian Combs, among others.

The HollyRod Foundation was founded by Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete. Both Peete’s are extremely involved in the support of these communities.

Congratulations, Jude! We will all be watching to see what amazing things you accomplish next.


Photo Credit: Jude Keyz Instagram

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

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