A quadriplegic man delighted a stadium of thousands last weekend by playing the national anthem on a musical device that he created to overcome his disability.
56-year-old Dave Whalen has been paralyzed from the neck down since he endured a skiing accident at age 18 – but that doesn’t stop him from making music.
As a means of kicking off the Albany Empire’s second home arena football game at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York last week, Whalen performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” on a Jamboxx instrument.
Jamboxx is a harmonica-like device that attaches to a computer and allows people with limited mobility to create music with their breath. Moving the mouthpiece left or right determines which note is played.
Because he does not have the use of his hands, Whalen used the Jamboxx’s hands-free bracket. For his performance at the stadium, he did a trumpet-like rendition of the hallowed tune – and the crowd went wild.
In addition to making music with the Jamboxx, Whalen also uses the device for breath-controlled painting and for controlling a commercial robot that was mounted to his old wheelchair. The Scotia, New York lawyer also uses his innovative, hands-free technology to race sailboats.
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