Nathaniel Ayers was a classmate of cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Julliard. But Ayers suffered from schizophrenia and ended up on the streets of Los Angeles. LA Times columnist Steve Lopez wrote about Ayers and other homeless and the services that they need.
A book, "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music," by Lopez is due out soon, and will be made into a movie starring Jamie
Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., I learn from a column in Editor & Publisher.
I'm very glad for Mr. Ayers, but I hope that this doesn't reinforce the stereotype of the street musician as mentally unstable or otherwise unable to function in larger society.
But movies about street musicians are hot. In the past year, there've been Once, August Rush and High School Musical. Just kidding about that last one.