Quadriplegic Rocks Stadium Football Fans with National Anthem
Americas, Assistive Technology, Events, May 16 2018
ALBANY, N.Y. USA – A quadriplegic man stunned a stadium of thousands last night by playing the national anthem on a musical device he created to overcome his disability.
Dave Whalen, 56, of Scotia, N.Y. has been paralyzed from the neck down since a ski accident at age 18 but that can’t stop him from making music.
At 7:30 p.m. on May 5, Whalen performed the Star Spangled Banner on a Jamboxx at the Albany Empire’s second home arena football game against the Washington Valor at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, N.Y.
Jamboxx is a harmonica-like device that attaches to a computer and allows people with limited mobility to create music with their breath. Moving the mouthpiece left or right determines which note is played.
Because he does not have the use of his hands, Whalen used the Jamboxx’s hands-free bracket. For last night’s show, his Jamboxx was set to play the trumpet via an electronic synthesizer. Playsers and coaches from both teams rushed over to thank and praise Dave after his performance.
Whalen and his friend Mike DiCesare, of Saratoga Springs, invented and developed the Jamboxx over the past 10 years.
The Jamboxx is now commercially available in a number of styles that are designed, manufactured and assembled in Albany, N.Y.
WILL DAVE WHALEN GO VIRAL?
Two Buttons Deep, a local website known for creating Albany-based viral videos, posted a close up video of the full performance here:
Source: 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.
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,” said Jamboxx President Mike Dicesare.
For information about Jamboxx, visit: https://www.jamboxx.com/