Candomusos.com LaunchArticle by Sean Mitchell // November 12 2014
Many years ago we interviewed an amazing Australian drummer named Andrew Hewitt. Andrew was a huge inspiration to us as he regularly plays, records, teaches and gives clinics even though he is faced with the daily challenges of Cerebral Palsy. Together with Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo, Andrew has formed Can Do Musos, an organization that will work to support musicians that face the challenges brought about by disabilities. The Black Page drum magazine is proud to support this incredible cause and we encourage you to not only read this inspirational article with the founders, but take action and donate.
What is Can Do Musos and Candomusos.com, and what are its goals?
Andrew Hewitt: Can-Do Musos is more than just a website; it is a new global voice for musicians who live with the challenges of a disability. We established Can-Do Musos to provide support, encouragement and help give musicians a leg up in the music world.
How did this get started? How has it evolved?
AH: We all met at Dom Famularo’s Wizdom Drumshed in Port Jefferson, New York, on the March 15, 2013. It was like -2 degrees Celsius and snowing outside, and Dom kept filling us with hot coffee. Four of us -- Dom, David Segal from Connecticut, Mike Mignogna from Tennessee, and myself (Andrew Hewitt) from Sydney, Australia-- sat around discussing the frustrations of being an artist with a disability and not getting a fair go, not getting the same opportunities as able-bodied musicians.
As of October 30, 2014, our website stands at 134 Can-Do Family Members from 16 countries. We decided to give it a more personal approach, rather than calling musicians on the website “members.” We decided to call them part of our family. We also have over 1,500 likes on our Facebook page, which is constantly being updated with info from our Can-Do Family Members.
On January 25th, we are launching Can-Do Musos in the Hot Zone at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.
Tell me about the radio show you have planned?
AH: The radio show was an idea we came up with to further promote the Can-Do Musos family. What a better way to get musicians heard then a radio show? On November 3rd, we will be launching The Can-Do Radio show via our website www.candomusos.com. We have media players linked to the server so people can listen in all over the world. There is also a Skype loop to the radio, so people can call me here in Sydney, Australia, from anywhere in the world. There will be one live show a week, two repeated episodes and a podcast for people to download and listen at their own convenience.
Andy, what are the challenges that musicians such as yourself are faced with that many people aren't aware of?
AH: Sadly, there is so much talent out there that gets overlooked because of a disability. In this day and age there are still so many narrow-minded musicians out there who discriminate against a musician because of a disability.
We decided to use the term challenges or challenged widely on our website, because when someone says disability, people automatically assume inability, which is the exact opposite of what we are about. Each and every one of our Can-Do Family Members CAN DO amazing things.
Dom, how important is this movement to the drumming industry, and why did you get involved?
Dom Famularo: As I travel the world to over 60 countries, I always meet musicians who are disabled. I am not a fan of that word so we use challenged. Michael and I met about 30 years ago, David about 15 years ago and Andrew about 12 years ago. The three of them impressed me so much with their non-stop can-do attitude!
I want to connect challenged musicians globally. We formed an idea and created www.candomusos.com -- all musicians, but it started with drummers. These guys are the most inspirational, energized and positive people I know! Let's get the word out. It is free to join and be featured with their story and music.
Andy, how can an eligible musician apply to become a Can-Do musician?
AH: All they have to do is send an email to one of us (firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) telling us about their disability and we will contact them directly to become part of the Can-Do Musos family.
How will Can-Do musicians benefit from this organization?
David Segal: Think of us as a support and marketing team for our “family members.” We will feature them on our website, social media pages and in our newsletters. As we grow we plan to have radio shows, concerts and speaking opportunities where they can be featured. Our ears are always open.
How can people get involved, lend support or donate money?
Please check out our website http://www.candomusos.com and browse through the amazing talent on show. To keep updated on what’s happening with Can-Do Musos, you can give us a like on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Can-Do-Musos)and follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/candomusos).
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT CAN-DO-MUSOS!
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About the Author
Sean Mitchell has been an active participant in the drumming industry for over 20 years. He has studied under Crash Test Dummies drummer Mitch Dorge and Drumming's Global Ambassador Dom Famularo. Sean is also a songwriter and regularly performs with his wife (and singer) Jill Mitchell. Sean proudly endorses Aquarian Drumheads.
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