Beach Boys Drummer Beats M.S. with Hands-Free Jamboxx MIDI Instrument

Americas, Assistive Technology, News, April 13 2018

Jamboxx Logo

Jamboxx Logo

TEMECULA, CALIF. / ALBANY, N.Y. (USA):  A noted percussionist with multiple sclerosis is the new ambassador for Jamboxx, a hands-free breath powered instrument for all musicians including those with any form of disability.

“As a long-time touring and recording percussionist, I was diagnosed with MS, which eventually hindered my expression as a performer,” said Jackie Bertone, best known for his involvement with The Beach Boys. “Fortunately, with Jamboxx, I can now be more musical than ever, exploring a melodic side along with enhancing my rhythmic foundation, while finding new passion on the road to health and musical discovery.”

Bertone appears on The Beach Boys platinum-selling album “Stars and Stripes, Volume I,” and has also remained a constant through much of Brian Wilson’s solo career. Specializing in the styles of R&B, Funk, Latin, Latin Jazz, Fusion, New Age, Country and all ethnic percussion, Bertone has played with a diversity of groups ranging from The Eagles to C+C Music Factory.

Though he is no longer able to tour, for health reasons, Bertone still works as a session artist. He also hosts the popular EnterTalk Radio network radio show “Jackie’s Groove,” on which he introduced his audience to the Jamboxx during an April 4 episode featuring three-time Grammy Award- winning guest Wyclef Jean, the rapper/singer best-known as a member of the hip hop group the Fugees. During the show, Bertone played a few clips of musicians playing the Jamboxx, including one with a  Jamboxx programmed to play guitar.

“I mean that sounds like Carlos Santana playing and that is all done through breath,” Bertone said to Wyclef Jean. “And I want to make sure I get this out to you because there’s not a studio — home studio and or a corporate studio — that should be without a Jamboxx. I want to get one out to you and I want you to check this out.”

“I definitely commend those guys with the Jamboxx. And I look forward to hearing more,” said Wyclef Jean during the interview. He asked Bertone to make sure to send him a Jamboxx.

The interview streamed live at 12 p.m. Pacific Time on April 4 and is now posted at https://entertalkradio.com/jackiesgroove/ and is available on the EnterTalk Radio podcast feed in iTunes and other places to find podcasts.

Immediately following his Wyclef Jean interview, Bertone recorded an emotional “unboxing” video opening his first Jamboxx device in front of his studio crew and wife Cappy.

“I just think it’s pretty amazing. You know, for those out there that just don’t have the ability — again I’m fighting back tears, man –because this gives the ability to the brothers and sisters they can’t play anymore. Or didn’t think they could play anymore,” Bertone said. “To be asked to be their international or their world wide ambassador… I mean this is an honor, man… I’m promoting this, man, because on the times when my right hand doesn’t want to work …. It gives me the ability to play what I can’t play. I mean just because I’ve been a 30-year player in the industry. MS has taken some of it away. This brought it back.”

Bertone said he doesn’t expect to play the Jamboxx on stage, but he “absolutely” plans to use the instrument in the studio.

“You can loop through this. You can you can play drum patterns on this. You can become a full orchestra with this because I even played marimba. I don’t play marimba! But the sound was legitimate. It really is,” Bertone said of the Jamboxx during the video.

UNBOXING VIDEO

To watch the unboxing video, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vuDweXeOFA

Though this Wednesday’s podcast was audio only, with Wyclef Jean joining Bertone remotely, future episodes will be filmed and will feature Bertone playing the Jamboxx with musical guests, said EnterTalk Media CEO Florentino Buenaventura. As Jamboxx ambassador, Bertone will naturally mention and include the Jamboxx during interviews, he added.

ABOUT THE JAMBOXX

The Jamboxx is an electronic, USB-powered, breath-controlled instrument styled after a harmonica that plays digital MIDI notes when connected to a compatible Windows computer/tablet or MAC OS device. Notes are played by sipping or puffing via the mouthpiece. Moving the mouthpiece left or right determines which note is played.

As an electronic synthesizer the Jamboxx can play any instrument including guitar, drums, violin, piano or saxophone. It can be easily adapted for those with physical or cognitive handicaps or special needs, whether children or adults. With its included bracket the Jamboxx can easily be played hands-free. It also adapts to the musician’s range of head motion and breath capacity, including those with very limited lung capacity. The Jamboxx is also well suited for music enthusiasts, music professionals, music teachers, music therapists, occupational therapists, and parents of children with physical or cognitive disabilities such as Autism, ALS, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis and those with spinal cord injuries.

Based in Albany, N.Y., Jamboxx was founded as My Music Machines Inc. in 2007 by David Whalen, who is paralyzed from a skiing accident at age 18, and musician Mike DiCesare. After more than 10 years of producing prototypes, the Jamboxx is now commercially available in a number of styles that are designed, manufactured and assembled in the United States.

“We designed the Jamboxx for everyone: for those with any type of cognitive or physical disability to any artist in any performance venue. We’re honored to partner with EnterTalk Media and Jackie Bertone to help bring the Jamboxx instrument to enthusiasts and professionals alike,” said Jamboxx President Mike Dicesare.

“Jamboxx is poised to change lives with a whole new way of music creation, and EnterTalk Media is honored to help share the inspiration,” said Buenaventura.

For information, visit: https://www.jamboxx.com/

Re-posted with permission

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