By Kate Raddatz

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Beloved Twin Cities jazz pianist Nachito Herrera is thankful to be alive after spending more than two weeks in the ICU with COVID-19.

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Herrera doesn’t even remember the time he was sick. The 53-year-old said he started getting a bad cough on March 27 and quickly became disoriented.

Herrera, who lives in White Bear Lake, tested positive, and last remembers waking up in the hospital on Easter weekend.

The Cuban native has traveled all over the world for his music. Herrera made his Minnesota debut at the Ordway back in 1996 and is a regular the Dakota Jazz Club. He says playing piano is now part of his therapy.

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“Obviously you lost a little bit of coordination in your fingers with your brain, but that is something you have to have faith is going to go back,” Herrera said. “It’s been 10 days [out of the hospital] and things are back to normal.”

Herrera is out of work right now while concert venues have shuttered their doors to try to stop the spread, but he is continuing to write music.

The latest song he wrote at home is called “Esperanza,” which means “Hope” in English.

Herrera says he wants to thank all of the people from his church and all over the world that have been praying for him. He and his family also thanked the medical team they credit for saving his life.

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Kate Raddatz