By Laman Ismayilova
A concert of American musician, singer and song-writer Tony Memmel was held at the National Conservatory in Baku.
Though Tony was born missing his left forearm, he taught himself to play the guitar by constructing a self-made cast out of strong tape that secures a guitar pick to his arm.
He won a Wisconsin Area Music Industry (WAMI) 2013 Award for Singer-Songwriter of the year, where he joined the ranks of fellow WAMI winners: Bon Iver, Les Paul, Cory Chisel and the BoDeans.
Along with this he has earned write-ups in the Associated Press, CNN, Boston Globe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Chicago Tribune.
Extensive independent touring experience has taken Tony to 45 states in the U.S., and 10 countries worldwide.
The musician has released 4 full-length albums and 2 EP’s.
The tours included visits to schools, orphanages, hospitals and performances in historic concert venues with an aim to build cultural bridges through music. He also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in music and trained as a classical vocalist.
In his speech, U.S Ambassador to Azerbaijan Earle (Lee) Litzenberger noted that Tony Memmel’s visit to Azerbaijan takes place from April 7 to 13 as part of "Art Envoys" program, Trend Life reported.
This visit has been arranged through the U.S. Department of State’s Arts Envoy Program, which brings American musicians to countries throughout the world to foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.
"We are pleased to acquaint the Azerbaijani public with the work of the talented American musician Tony Memmel," the diplomat said.
It was noted that the example of Tony Memmel serves as a message that everyone has a role in life, and the only limits that exist are the ones we set for ourselves.
Before the concert, Tony Memmel introduced the musicians of his group, and also spoke about his path in music and about the project "Lucky Fin Project".
His desire to make music, especially playing the guitar, was so great that despite all the difficulties, he still achieved his goal.
"It took me a long time to learn how to play the guitar, but I realized my dream. Never give up on your dream, do everything to make it come true," he added.
Throughout the concert, Memmel encouraged everyone to sing along with him, and the audience greeted each song of the musician with loud applause.
"Thank you for such a warm welcome. We will keep memories of your beautiful country, kind and sympathetic people in our hearts," Memmel said.
The concert featured the works of Tony Memmel as well as cover versions of famous songs.
The evening did not go without a musical surprise - Tony Memmel together with Azerbaijani musicians Emin Zeynalli (vocal) and Arslan Novrasli (tar) performed the song "Sənə də qalmaz" by Tofig Guliyev.
As Tony Memmel said, he met with Azerbaijani musicians just 15 minutes before the concert and was very happy to share the stage with such talented artists.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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