The winner of NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Concert is a remarkable musician from Duluth, Minnesota named Gaelynn Lea. Lea is a classically trained fiddler whose music includes Celtic and American fiddle traditions. Her submission, Someday We'll Linger in the Sun, was the judges' unanimous choice. If you watch Lea's video, you'll notice that she plays her violin in a style that you might not expect -- she holds it in front of herself, like a cello.
Lea has brittle bone disease, and when she fell in love with the cello as a young student, it was difficult for her to hold it. A teacher noticed, was inspired by Lea's gift for music, and helped her learn how to play the violin in the same style. Now, Lea plays solo shows and with her band. She's also a teacher and an advocate for people with disabilities.
We talk to Lea about her music, her success, and about how to make all stages accessible to everyone. She'll be in Rochester for a performance and talk at Nazareth College, but first, she joins us on Connections. Our guests:
- Gaelynn Lea, winner of NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest
- Erika Jones, systems advocate
- Betsey King, associate professor of music therapy at Nazareth College
This conversation is part of WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, spotlighting issues related to disabilities. The WXXI Inclusion Desk is part of Move to Include, a partnership to encourage thoughtful discussion about issues of inclusion and the differently-abled.