Can-Do Musos Music Fest Features Musicians with Challenges

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Can-Do Musos Music Fest Features Musicians with Challenges

A can-do attitude is the first step in any passion, and Can-Do Musos musicians have that in spades. On May 10, the organization hosted the inaugural Can-Do Musos Music Fest, featuring 60 musicians with various disabilities and challenges—including blindness, burns, and arm amputations—from 20 countries. In total, Can-Do Musos supports more than 340 members from 34 countries.

Can-Do Musos director and co-founder David Segal recalls that the music festival went through nine iterations before streaming. The overall experience was positive and could become a recurring event, he adds. “We [would] definitely like to do another music festival next year,” says Segal, a drummer who has arthrogryposis—a joint condition.

Throughout the program, Can-Do Musos promoted the opportunity to donate through GoFundMe.

Can-Do Musos gives musicians with challenges a free web page on the organization’s website. Segal shares that the organization also has a directory for casting directors. “People get actual work, get actual gigs, get noticed … and get some sort of recognition,” Segal says.

Notable companies that have hired Can-Do Musos musicians include Audi and BBC Paralympics, the latter of which used 10 members in a “Yes I Can” music video.

Segal recalls stories of wheelchair-bound musicians who go through auditions, only to be rejected and told that “they look very unnatural” as a reason for their rejection, Segal says. “It’s a battle.”

Segal is inspired by seeing musicians with challenges work out different ways to play their instruments and “find their ways to work around whatever’s limiting them,” he says.

The festival was dedicated to Mark Goffeney, who recently passed away. Goffeney was a guitarist born without arms and who played with his feet.

“We all inspire each other to keep moving forward and face our own challenges,” Segal says.

About the author

Jamie Lee Cortese

Jamie Lee Cortese graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Radio/TV/Film and political science. Jamie also writes scripts and is an actor, singer, and director who hosts a weekly radio show, Jammin’ with Jamie. Visit her website and read her blog at JamieLeeCortese.com.

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