Jazz pianist Kafari, who goes by just one name, plays in Portland’s Longfellow Square on Friday. The instrument is one of four placed in squares along Congress Street for people […] Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — Squares along Congress Street rang with plinking keys and soaring voices on Friday as new public pianos were unveiled. The colorful instruments, painted by local artists, are part of the Pianos in the Squares Project and will be available for anyone to play during daylight hours through the end of July.

“I’ve been asked a lot: ‘Why?’” said Sally DeLuca, Director of Portland Parks, Recreation & Facilities. “It’s a really simple answer. We just wanted people to have fun.”

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

Monument, Bramhall, Congress and Longfellow Squares all got instruments. Each was given a good workout by a local pianist to kick things off. Nearby businesses will bring the pianos in each night and place them in the squares every morning. The project is a joint venture between City of Portland Parks, Recreation & Facilities, Portland Downtown, and Friends of Congress Square Park.

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN

“They are for anyone who wants to play the piano,” said DeLuca. “Strangers will be meeting each other and listening to each other play and Portland is such an artsy town, that it didn’t make sense for us not to do it.”

Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Credit: Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.