NEW Shows Added to Calendar

 

September 4th, 2016 
Bluebird Cafe
Nashville, TN
8:00 PM
*Limited Seating

August 28th, 2016 
Crossroads Church
*Appearing with Mark Kroos*
Weddington, NC
6:30 PM
Tickets: Free/Donations accepted

August 27th, 2016 
Tosco Music Party
Charlotte, NC
Time: TBA
Tickets: TBA

August 25th, 2016 
Windsor United Methodist Church
*Appearing with Mark Kroos*
Columbia, SC
7:00PM
Tickets: Free/Donations accepted

NAMM Show & Adaptive Music Camp

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Cincinnati Adaptive Music Camp Students and Staff

It’s going to be a very special week! If you’re attending the NAMM Show in Nashville, this week, I’ll be playing twice at the Kyser Musical Products booth.

June 23rd, 2016
4:15PM
*Badge required for entry

June 25th, 2016
12:15PM
*Badge required for entry

Also, this Sunday marks the beginning of a week at the Cincinnati Adaptive Music Camp, where I’ll be working with guitar students with physical and cognitive differences, and helping them to achieve their musical goals.

Follow along on Facebook! Click here to view My Facebook page, and Adaptive Music Project’s Facebook Page!

Add Us to Your Summer Playlist

Tony Memmel - We'll Be On The Radio
Tony Memmel – We’ll Be On The Radio

Summer is here! Be sure to add our new album, “We’ll Be On The Radio” to your summer playlists on Spotify and iTunes! Just search for “Tony Memmel” in your favorite source for music, and you’ll find us there. Thanks for listening!

Que Viva Panamá

Lesleigh and Tony Memmel during a visit to Casa Ronald McDonald in Panama City, Panama.
Lesleigh and Tony Memmel during a visit to Casa Ronald McDonald in Panama City, Panama.

As a part of our exchange, we are sharing music and culture from the United States with the countries we are visiting. Our setlist includes original songs I’ve written, and covers by influences like Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, and Weezer.

We’ve also prepared songs that are important local favorites to the countries we are touring. The song we learned for Panamá is called “Que Viva Panamá” (Roughly translated: Live Panamá), and that is what this week has been all about… Living Panamanian life to the absolute fullest.

Our time here has been rigorous, and incredible. We’ve seen so much, and met so many people in just a few days, it’s hard to believe our time is already coming to a close.

Panama City, Panama
Panama City, Panama

We’ve held concerts and conversations at universities, visited the Panamá Canal, performed as part of a bill with local street performers and buskers, eaten beautiful fresh seafood (including ceviche – a cold seafood based soup that is said to be the best in the world), attended the local Argentinian embassy’s Independence Day celebration, visited a children’s hospital, and also a Ronald McDonald house.

Group photo with our new friends from the Special Olympics at Balboa Academy, in Panama City.
Group photo with our new friends from the Special Olympics at Balboa Academy, in Panama City.

As we start to think about returning home to the states, I have been contemplating how I’m going to explain our time here to family and friends. Anyone who has traveled knows that what you are able to relay to those at home is a fraction of what you’ve felt and experienced. You paraphrase and simplify, but there’s always something left unsaid. Something felt, but unexplainable in way.

I’ve seen people moved to tears at our interactions, and I’ve been moved to tears at times. There have been periods of elevation and exhaustion, and we’ve always felt eager for the next event. I’ve been so blessed to travel with my beautiful wife, and my wonderful friend, and I will treasure our time together always.

Pictured: Lesleigh Memmel, Tony Memmel, and Ben Picker at the University in Colón, Panama.
Pictured: Lesleigh Memmel, Tony Memmel, and Ben Picker at the University in Colón, Panama.

We have one more day of programming… In the morning we’ll be working with a group of almost 300 youth with varying backgrounds: hearing and visual impairment, Asperger’s, and other physical and cognitive differences; in the afternoon, we’ll visit an orphanage, and in the evening we’ll have a conversation with a youth group at a church. We are eager for what tomorrow holds.

 

Paraguay Continued

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The band pictured in front of a hand-woven United States flag made by a local Paraguayan craftsperson.

It was after 1am when our plane took off out of Asuncion. We had a red eye flight to Panama City, Panama through the night and arrived after 6am, today.

We were sad to leave Paraguay. In the scope of the full tour, Panama is our final country, so even though we have a huge week of programming planned, there is a sense that the tour is wrapping up, and a desire to savor every moment, and value every encounter.

Our American Music Abroad partner, Marc, is flying back to the States today, which was a sad goodbye for the band… He’s been a great teammate and advocate for the well-being of the group, and an eager travel companion; always excited to sample local cuisine and see the cities. A kindred spirit. He’ll be missed in Panama, and we look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.

As a farewell get-together dinner in Asuncion, we went to a local steak place by our hotel. The entire table shared a funny, fateful moment when our sizzling beef arrived, and the “Ode to Joy” theme from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony started playing on the radio. It made the first bites especially enjoyable.

Over the last two days we’ve had incredible opportunities to connect with people in Paraguay. We performed a concert at the Theater of the Americas in Asuncion, where we met the United States Ambassador to Paraguay, Ms. Leslie Bassett.

After our performance, a troupe that performs traditional Paraguayan songs and dances put on a show for us. The girls wore colorful dresses, and the boys wore hand-woven belts and hats, and they were accompanied by a brass band that blasted festive songs in the local polka style. It was beautiful, and especially moving because many of the performers in the group had various physical and cognitive differences. The show was a great deal of fun.

The next morning we visited a group called Denide (from their website: “a non-profit organization that defends the rights of people with intellectual disabilities through educational and community programs.”).

It was one of the best concerts of the tour. They started by performing a dance routine to “Accidentally in Love” by Counting Crows. Those who know us well, know that that is one of our all-time favorite bands… That element, the lyrics of the song, and the genuine joy they shared really moved us.

Dance party during our concert at Denide!
Dance party during our concert at Denide!

We were glad that when our turn to play began that the dance party continued. From the moment we started playing our first song, a number of them ran up on stage and danced alongside us. It was a blast. A little chaotic, raucous, and so fun. It was one of the best concerts of our lives.

Teletón Rehabilitacion Infantil

Tony Memmel Trio with the patients, families, and staff at Teletón
Tony Memmel Trio with the patients, families, and staff at Teletón

**This post is about events that occurred last Friday (May 13, 2016). Thanks for reading this flashback post.**

We had one of the most meaningful programs of our tour, on Friday. We played a concert and led a discussion at a physical rehabilitation center for children, called Teletón. The children and the staff told us that they loved the music, and that seeing me play guitar was a big inspiration for them.

One boy commented that seeing us together as a band, and the husband-wife relationship that Lesleigh and I have, was very moving to him. He said in his country it isn’t common to see someone with a physical difference in a relationship with someone without one.

It was a moving, heartfelt moment. I paused to think about his statement, and about how I could respond…

I told him that in my experience, I hope and think of most people on some level that attraction to someone else and the friendships we have, are more linked to the character of a person, than to the look of a person. Be a good friend to others, and be confident in who you are and the way you were made, and the rest falls into place.

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A photo with the artist!

After the concert and discussion, we had a meet-and-greet with the children and staff. One generous attendee was being discharged that day; before she left, she gave us a beautiful piece of artwork that she’d made. We’re looking forward to displaying the art piece when we get home, and will think of the wonderful Teletón community every time we look at it.

Official website for award-winning Singer-Songwriter, Speaker, and Composer, Tony Memmel.

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