Musicians Who Overcome Great Odds For Their Music

The mother of all musicians who happen to be disabled sites, launched 2007. Time passes, and for me, age catches up and complications multiply for this paraplegic, and although I remain ‘active’ – time and energy levels dictate that… I’m still adding musicians who contact me, but no longer searching for them. My new project is getting my amateur poetry out there for comments reviews criticism whatever anyone wants to say about them.


Take a look at CAN-DO-MUSOS, a much more active, and with a four man staffed website rather than this one man operation, can increase the odds of your being ‘discovered’.

David Segal, Mike Mignogna and Andrew Hewitt, met with Dom Famularo at his studio in Port Jefferson, New York and discussed an idea to establish a worldwide organisation to help provide promotion and support to musicians with disabilities. Eventually we will be able to offer performance and touring opportunities in different parts of the world.

Can Do Musos is looking for musicians from all over the world to profile on our site, so far we have people from Australia, Canada, UK, USA, Venezuela and many others . If you would like to know more, please visit our website.

CAN-DO-MUSOS are excited to announce the launch of their Can-Do-Musos newsletter “Can-Do Musical Notes”. Each issue will be featuring stories on artists with challenges and goings on around Can-Do-Musos. Hope you enjoy the read.



Andrew Hewitt
“Australia’s Most Inspirational Drummer”

Bob Gifford

One arm guitar player loves to play the blues. – “Damn right I got the blues. If you love your country then gotta love the Blues.”

At age 26 Bob suffered a devastating brain hemorrhage that brought him to the ground… Bob was left fully paralyzed on the left side of his body. Recovery was very slow… It took months of hard work, but eventually Bob fought his way out of a wheelchair after enduring a lot of physical therapy with pure determination… at age 50 Bob thought he’d at least try to play with one hand. It was a long, slow, and painful process… His one handed playing required heavy gauge strings and lots of hand pressure which resulted in painful deep cuts on his fingertips which he combats with surgical tape.  After a lot of practice he started going to open mic nights which brought back memories from those early years…

Sounds Like: Albert Collins, Albert King, Jeff Beck, Robert Cray, Freddie King

“Old School Blues” #music

Paolo Bidols ~ MS

hi, this is Paul from Venice – Italy

I just got into your site and suddenly i feel less alone. In fact i have MS, i’m on wheelchair and I play my music. Before meeting MS I used to sing in rock bands jumping up and down the stage, then in a moment I thought I could never be playing again.

Instead, that was not an end but just a new beginning of something better. it’s so good to see other people showing what music can really do!




Chazz demeyer A disabled musician (spinal chord) for over thirty years, and for the life of me I do not know why it took so many years to seek others in a similar condition. After all this time I have finally gotten around to writing and singing about it. I have a new CD (Recovery) and a new book (The Fire Within) recently released.

Chazz demeyer was born in Chicago in 1951.  Starting on the accordion, and quickly becoming a keyboard player, the 60’s and 70’s music culture lured him away before he graduated high school. At the age of sixteen he left home to travel and record with Friend and Lover, famous for their national hit “Reach Out Of The Darkness”. When the first production of “Hair” came to Chicago, Chazz was the lead pianist for the shows run.  Soon after he joined folk star Bonnie Koloc, co-wrote several songs on her self titled album and toured Europe with her.  When Kevin Cronin first left REO Speed Wagon he hired Chazz’s local band to launch his solo career.  Chazz has also co-written several songs for the Siegel Schwall Blues Band. It is these bands and song writers he performed behind that has shaped his writing styles, for they all had one thing in common, they were story tellers.

At the age of 24, things took a turn for the worse:  he suffered a severe spinal cord injury in an auto accident.  He recovered enough movement to be a proficient one handed keyboard player and had quite a few good years playing Mini Moog bass with local bands, but honestly playing bass never satisfied his soul.  Disabled, but determined, Chazz returned to school at the age of forty, received his Bachelor’s in Business and created a comfortable life for himself and his family, but there was still something missing, music.

The decision to become a successful song writer 33 years after his accident is undoubtedly the most difficult and rewarding challenge he has encountered. In 2007 he built his home studio and in one year recorded his debut album “Recovery” and wrote his memoir “The Fire Within”.  In October of 2009 he is releasing his second album, “Vampire Love”.  Song after song his skills, techniques and song writing improve.  His goal is to place his songs with other performers and write for film and television, but like every musician, he awaits the day the world applauds him as an artist.

Leroy F Moore Jr. Writer, advocate and journalist on issues and art involving disabled people of color. Leroy was born in Buffalo, NY in 1967 with Cerebral Palsy. “Krip-Hop displays the beauty and strength of collaboration and disabled music history, present and future.” Leroy is one of the leading voices in the field of police brutality and wrongful incarceration of people with disabilities. Leroy Moore Interviews  Disabled Hip-Hop Artist Keith Jones: FEZO


Krip-Hop Nation came from my experiences as a young Black disabled boy growing up in the late 1970’s and 80’s in a White suburb of Connecticut. Always being the only Black disabled youth in almost everything I did from special education to being mainstreamed, from playing with White non-disabled kids in my neighborhood to my early days in activism with my parents, to my many years of volunteering in disability non-profits to college classes In all of these experiences I always had the same question: Where were the other people who looked like me as a Black disabled young man? Full article at: KRIP-HOP NATIONon Facebook.


Music From the Motherland

I told my mother when I was in my early teenage years that I wanted to go to Africa to see my brothers and sisters with disabilities, knowing that at that time Apartheid was the law of the land in South Africa.  I was interested in how people with disabilities lived during those times.  Well I m almost 40 and I still haven t traveled to the Motherland but the need to be in the Motherland is even bigger today with a  new focus of mine: Black disabled musicians and their contributions in the music industry.

I have been writing, studying, lecturing and listening to Black disabled musicians from the US for some time now, from Blues to Hip-Hop, and it is a fascinating and wide open field that needs more scholars, books, study and public discourse.  Knowing that my roots go back to Africa, I m in the process, with others, of opening this new  box I call, Black disabled music, beyond the boarders of America and in the process of realizing that Black disabled music is not new but is has survived, grown, written of in books and is being embraced by local music industry today.

Leroy on

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by – Leroy F. Moore, Jr.

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Tracy Marie: Performer, vocalist, and songwriter – Dysplasia and Osteoarthritis – Genre: Blues, Rock, & Country

Tracy Marie: Finding your Inner Musician
by Derek Mortland (by permission)

Performer, vocalist, and songwriter Tracy Marie infuses her music with energy, enthusiasm, and eclecticism. She has been performing live on the Cleveland, Ohio, music scene for over a decade, including organizing the Breast Fest at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a benefit concert of female performers to help raise funds for breast cancer prevention.

In listening to her first two CD offerings, Sheik European Assassin Woman ©2000, and The One in the Sun ©2003, I found Tracy singing everything from hard-driving rock and roll to country, and even heartfelt ballads. She is in the process of working on her third release, tentatively titled True Blue. Tracy stretches her wings and infuses her new music with the soul of Chicago Style Blues, an ironic new love.

Tracy has had both hips replaced and credits the surgeries with improving her mobility and limp. On a normal day, though, she has problems standing for more than 5-10 minutes before pain sets in because of the dysplasia and osteoarthritis. In spite of that, she prefers to perform standing, commenting that something about performing allows her to remain on her feet for an hour without feeling pain.

To accommodate her disability, she usually has an assistant or two help her with equipment and set-up for performances. She would rather pay for someone to assist her than let her disability determine what she can do. She does not want to compromise her music or creativity in this way. “I have more knowledge and understanding of life than what I would have without my disability. Friends of mine seem to grow sad as they get older and get arthritis or other ailments. For me, this is all I’ve ever known, and I’m still happy.”

Tracy states that she has seen both sides of the fence. Although there may be certain prejudices that exist against people with disabilities, especially as performers, she says there are prejudices against people because they look good too. Her disability is not always visible or apparent to people; she says that people have also doubted her abilities because of her perceived beauty.

“It’s all about your view and how you look at things. You can always think of reasons why you didn’t get a gig or a performance, but you may not know the real reasons. Don’t give up, and don’t let one opinion ruin you. Reject the rejections, and move on to the next person.”

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