TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT TONY MEMMEL
1) Though he was born without a left forearm and hand, Tony Memmel taught himself to play the guitar by building a homemade cast out of Gorilla Tape (duct tape) that secures a guitar pick to his arm, and allows him to pluck and strum the strings. (CLICK HERE to see his video demonstration).
2) American Music Abroad Program Alumni – He was selected to tour to Brazil, Panama, Paraguay, and Uruguay in cooperation with the U.S. State Department, Embassies, and Consulates overseas. The tour included visits to schools, orphanages, hospitals, and performances in historic concert venues with an aim to build cultural bridges through music.
3) National finalist (4th place finisher) in the “You Oughta Know – Make a Band Famous Competition” hosted by VH1 and Republic Records.
4) Invited to speak to a crowd of 35,000 people during the ELCA Lutheran National Youth Gathering at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA.
5) Songwriter Awards – Nashville Songwriters Association Top 40, and WAMI Singer-Songwriter of the Year. (Fellow WAMI winners: Bon Iver, Les Paul, and Cory Chisel).
6) Ambassador with the non-profit organization “Lucky Fin Project” a support group for children with hand and limb-differences. He also teaches adaptive guitar lessons to students with physical differences, and helps them to develop unique, custom methods and devices that allow them to play.
7) The press has taken notice as he’s earned write-ups and features in the Associated Press, CNN, Boston Globe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, and WSMV-Nashville.
8) Extensive independent touring experience has taken him to 45 states in the U.S., and 10 countries worldwide. He has released 4 full-length albums, and 2 EP’s. The most recent release, “We’ll Be On The Radio” was recorded at the world-renowned House of Blues Studios in Nashville, TN, and Blast House Studios in Madison, WI.
9) Earned a Bachelor’s Degree in music, and trained as a classical vocalist.
10) Commissioned to compose symphonic and choral orchestrations of his music. His work “Opus 1 – Five Songs for Symphony, Chorus, and Rock ‘n Roll Ensemble,” debuted in 2014. He’s worked as an Artist in Residence with the Madison Youth Choirs, and has orchestrated a new work (debuting in 2017) for the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
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