Paralyzed musician rocks the Star Spangled Banner on literal “air guitar”

The Tri-City Valley Cats were treated to the anthem performance of a lifetime on Saturday, June 16th courtesy of musician Dave Whalen and his Jamboxx! A 56-year-old New York native, Dave was paralyzed from the neck down at 18 in a skiing accident. A long-time fan of electric guitar, Dave wants to realize the dream of those who long to shred the frets but aren’t physically able to. His invention, the Jamboxx, is doing just that.

It’s been invented over the past 10 years with his friend, Mike DiCesare. The Jamboxx is what Dave describes as a true air guitar performance. That’s because the Jamboxx is played exclusively with your breath! It’s an electronic, USB-powered synthesizer designed after a harmonica. The sound is generated via MIDI input when hooked up to a compatible computer or tablet. Like a harmonica, you play by inhaling or exhaling into the mouthpiece. Pitch is controlled by moving your mouth left or right and it can mimic anything from electric guitar to a soft grand piano.

Anyone can play but it stands out for people with cognitive or physical disabilities. Jamboxx comes with a bracket that is fixed to the musician, so they can play hands-free. To further adapt to the player’s needs, the range of head motion and amount of air required to play are fully adjustable, for those with limited movement or limited lung capacity. Dave Whalen’s mission is simple and wholesome: he wants more people to be able to experience music and enjoy themselves.

The prototypes have all been tested and Jamboxx is commercially available! It’s meant for anyone with a passion for music. From the young to the old. From anyone with a disability to professional artists. But don’t just take our word for it, take a listen to his performance here!

After his rendition, dedicated to Paralyzed Veterans of America, Dave hopes he’ll get noticed by a big sports club and take his talents to the big leagues. So, let’s help out! Dave and Jamboxx are asking fans of his performance to share the video with the hashtags #JamboxxAnthem and #SendDave2Majors. Anyone, no matter the disability, can now officially rock out with Jamboxx! Click here to check out their site and learn more about the product.

Thomas Dennett

Past student, current writer and future superhero if all goes according to plan. I love all things musical and geeky. When I'm not writing scripts or lists I'm probably playing music, reading graphic novels, doodling monsters in a notebook or melting into my bed and playing video games.

Thomas Dennett has 18 posts and counting. See all posts by Thomas Dennett

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