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Extraordinary People: “Rockin Roz”

Extraordinary People

Nursing homes can be lonely places. But one Rochester woman is trying to change that. “Rockin Roz” is 87 years old. She’s been sharing her talents for decades and has no plan to slowing down anytime soon.

Rosyln Germano started taking piano lessons at the Eastman School of Music when she was just 5 years old! Germano, also known as “Rockin Roz,” says she was one of the first female cocktail piano players in Rochester. She started performing in restaurants and nightclubs beginning in 1963.
Germano explains, “Everywhere you went in the nightclub you’d have a jazz pianist. It was always a male. The first job I had, I had to join the union. I was playing downtown a lot at the red lion restaurant cocktail hour.”

Today, at the age of 87, Roz drives herself to nursing homes around Rochester to perform. She jokes saying, “All of my fan club are in nursing homes! I know all their music.”

The best part of her job? watching people with memory loss light up when she sings. “You can go up to them and ask them their name and they wont be able to tell you. You play an old song that they know, they will start singing the words. It’s a different part of the brain and that’s why the music is good for them becasue it will bring back the memories,” Germano explains.

And at her age, Rockin Roz knows just how valuable memories are and says “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I feel blessed. You find what you enjoy doing and that’s the talent God has given you! You pursue that and you will be fulfilled!” And perhaps help fulfill others along the way.

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