Toronto busker Jeff Burke found out that happy endings really do exist last night after the TTC musician was reunited with his prized bassoon six weeks after it went missing. Sue Motahedin, head of the TTC’s customer service department, was first to announce on Twitter this Tuesday that officials at the transit service had successfully brought the two back together.
Commuters who recognized Burke from his constant and impeccable subway jams quickly flooded to Twitter last night to celebrate the news and to praise the musician, whose priceless reaction to finally having his bassoon back was as heartwarming as it gets.
Burke’s bassoon along with several of his belongings had been stolen back in January. Burke had been busking at the intersection between Delaware Avenue and Bloor Street West at the time of the theft; the musician left his gear behind to run to the bathroom when he returned his items were missing.
We are super happy to have reunited Jeff Burke with his #bassoon today. It was turned in to #TTC's Lost Articles Office in January. One of our awesome employees saw a story on the news, connected the dots and we contacted Jeff today. Good work, team! Happy bassooning, Jeff! pic.twitter.com/J2rarK98q5— Sue Motahedin (@TTCsue) February 19, 2019
Thank you TTC. I have fond memories of Jeff's playing, and was aching for him and his loss. Best news today!— EA Brown (@EABrown_daily) February 19, 2019
YAY! I've enjoyed Jeff's music many, many times passing through Bloor-Yonge station. My daughter is a bassoonist & she'd be gutted to have hers go missing. So happy to hear this has been found!— Sally J Bee (@sallyjaybee) February 20, 2019
The career-busker was hit hard by the theft. Burke has played the bassoon for over 40 years; it’s how he makes his money when he lost the instrument not only did he lose his passion, he lost his job. “I speak through it … The bassoon is so much a part of me, without the bassoon, as much of it being a material object, it’s how I am me.” the musicians said during an interview with Global News.
Burke notified the police of the theft, and an investigation was launched. Upon hearing about the theft, a close friend of Burke’s Leo Nelson decided to create a GoFundMe page for the down on his luck musician to help raise funds to help him purchase a new instrument. The page ended up raising $14,000 which Burke now plans to use to help cover the six weeks he was without income.